The creeping dictatorship of the Left...

This document is part of an archive of postings on Political Correctness Watch, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written. My Home Page. My Recipes. My alternative Wikipedia. My Blogroll. Email me (John Ray) here. NOTE: The short comments that I have in the side column of the primary site for this blog are now given at the foot of this document.

The picture below is worth more than a 1,000 words ...... Better than long speeches. It shows some Middle-Eastern people walking to reach their final objective,to live in a European country, or migrate to America.

In the photo, there are 7 men and 1 woman.up to this point – nothing special. But in observing a bit closer, you will notice that the woman has bare feet,accompanied by 3 children, and of the 3, she is carrying 2.There is the problem,none of the men are helping her,because in their culture the woman represents nothing.She is only good to be a slave to the men. Do you really believe that these particular individuals could integrate into our societies and countries and respect our customs and traditions ????


No posts on Sat 30th

29 November, 2019

Hungary's right-wing government withdraws country from 'too gay' Eurovision Song Contest branding the annual event 'a homosexual flotilla'

It's about time the current worshipping of sexual abnormality was challenged

Hungary has pulled out of the Eurovision song contest because it is 'too gay' for the country's right-wing leadership, it was claimed last night.

No official reason was forthcoming from prime minister Viktor Orban but a pro-government television said Eurovision was 'a homosexual flotilla' and that Hungary's mental health would be better off if it was out of the competition.

A source inside the Hungarian public broadcaster, MTVA, told the Guardian that employees believed the long association with LGBTQ+ culture was behind the move.

Eurovision has long been a celebration of camp fun, with Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst winning in 2014.

'I was not surprised. It comes from the organisational culture of MTVA,' said the source. 

Positive coverage of LGBT rights was discouraged, the source said, except for annual coverage of Budapest Pride.

Hungarian website index.hu quoted unnamed sources in public office that saw Eurovision as 'too gay'.

In a statement, MTVA said: 'Instead of taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020, we will support the valuable productions created by the talents of Hungarian pop music directly.'

Since Orban started a second stint as prime minister in 2010, free speech and democracy in Hungary have been slowly eroded.

Members of his ruling party have openly compared homosexuality to paedophilia and called for a boycott of Coca-Cola after an advert featured a gay couple.

András Bencsik, the editor of a pro-government magazine, said: 'I welcome the decision, including from a mental health perspective, that Hungary will not take part in the homosexual flotilla that this international song competition has been reduced to.

'Many young people thought that this is something for people under 18, but at this event the destruction of public taste takes place with screaming transvestites and bearded women.'

Russia, which has struggled with rampant homophobia, nearly left Eurovision in 2014 after a similar call by its MPs six years after it won the competition.


The women demonised for championing men's rights: They devote their lives to a deeply unfashionable cause — helping 'downtrodden' men in the age of gender politics

A small but increasingly vocal band of women is fighting for justice — not for women, but for men.

These women have dedicated their lives to addressing what they see as a crisis of masculinity and the unfair treatment of men by society.

They come from academic backgrounds or began campaigning for women's rights before focusing on problems of the other sex.

The campaigners believe that in its attempts to rectify historical wrongs towards women, society has developed a creeping antipathy towards all things male, and this is knocking men's confidence at a time of intense cultural shift.

They fear that many men and boys are neglected, ignored and excluded. This, they say, is why men's mental health problems are on the rise. Suicide is now the biggest killer of UK men under 45.

Some of their views are highly controversial, and some activists have been accused of ignoring the harm done to women by men, or excusing it.

So who are these women, why on earth are they doing this — and what are the issues they are fighting on men's behalf?

Alison Bushell, 57, from Suffolk, runs a social work consultancy.

Britain's family courts are engaged in practices that separate fathers from their children, knowingly or not, Alison believes. She says: 'The pressure groups springing up, some of which are advising the Ministry of Justice on domestic violence cases, have an anti-male agenda.'

In 20 years as a statutory social worker she saw a lack of effort to keep families together and an 'airbrushing out' of many dads. 'I see fathers marginalised and excluded from their kids' lives,' she says, 'while mothers are supported by out-of-date gendered views of parenting within the courts, and health and social services.'

And so, she believes, custody of children is often automatically given to women even when that isn't in a child's best interests. 'False allegations are more prevalent than people realise and supervision orders disproportionately happen to fathers.'

Every day, Alison gets calls from men who haven't seen their kids for up to five years. 'Having lost contact with their children, such men sometimes turn to alcohol or drugs out of sheer desperation. 'More become depressed. I had a client who took his own life. I believe the allegations against him were a major contributing factor.'

Alison has faced several complaints of bias while representing — largely male — clients in court, but none has been upheld.

Disillusioned and concerned to highlight these inequities, she left statutory social work ten years ago to set up consultancy, Child and Family Solutions. The agency works with families going through bitter separations, and carries out assessments for the Family Court and local authorities.

She has also worked with male domestic abuse victims. 'It has given me huge respect for those daring to speak out, because there is so little help available. It is a national scandal that so few refuge places are available for men.'

In England there were more than 3,600 beds in safe houses for women in 2017, but just 20 for men. The charity ManKind Initiative, which Alison supports, has told her that only 36 of 163 beds now available in refuges or safe houses are earmarked for men.

'Since Office for National Statistics figures state that 40 per cent or more victims of domestic abuse are men, this is alarming. 'When will people realise that holding on to a gendered narrative in domestic abuse is harmful?'

As for gender politics, Alison admits she has performed a volte-face. 'In the 80s I spent time at Greenham Common and lived in a women-only house. I even had a badge declaring 'a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle'. How times change.

'I can now be found reading [neoconservative author] Douglas Murray or listening to a talk by [Right-wing psychologist] Jordan Peterson.'


Trannie regret again

A woman who decided at the age of 44 to transition to become a transgender man has revealed how she 'deeply regrets' her decision and is now 'de-transitioning' to live as a woman again.

Appearing on Newsnight, the UK woman, known as Debbie, discussed with presenter Deborah Cohen how she feels she 'mutilated' the body she was born with by surgically transitioning.

Born female, Debbie realised she wanted to be a transgender male after watching an episode of 90s television show Kilroy, in which the host Robert Kilroy-Silk was interviewing female-to-male transgender people. 

She told Cohen: 'I just happened to turn the TV on at the right time. Kilroy was on and he was basically talking to female to male transgender people and it was like a Eureka [moment]. 'I thought 'This is me, this is what I've got to do"'

Debbie, who says she was sexually abused as a child, set about taking testosterone and photographs of her three years into her transition show her clearly presenting as male.

Now in her early sixties, Debbie says in the footage that she thought she would become a different person if she became male, saying 'I thought I'd become accepted in the world.'  

After undergoing a full female-to-male surgical transition including having a penis made from skin on her forearm, Debbie lived as a man, Lee, for 17 years, continuing to take testosterone and wearing a full beard.

Now she is in the process of detransitioning after saying she deeply regrets what's happened.  She describes her realisation that she no longer wanted to live as a trans male, saying: 'I remember breaking down, it was like "'This was a mistake, it should never have happened"'.

Debbie adds: 'But what the hell do you do about it? How do you go through another harrowing transition? I've got no hair, I've got a beard, I've had my body mutilated - what do you do about it? To get back to being the Debbie that I was?'

She believes she transitioned as a result of the sexual abuse she suffered in childhood and hopes she can now change her appearance with the help of oestrogen.

She told Cohen: 'I think I'd have to wave a magic wand but I hope that my hair will grow back in time with the oestrogen and the body hair will reduce and I can get rid of this beard.'


Advance Australia’s new boss Liz Storer says political correctness is alien to Australian culture

If Bob Hawke was an early career politician today, the plain-talking larrikin would’ve inevitably offended a certain cohort on Twitter and become a victim of “cancel culture”.

That’s the view of Liz Storer, who’s settling into her new role as the boss of Advance Australia – the right’s version of left-wing activist group GetUp.

The 36-year-old former political adviser believes there are “millions more of us” than what she describes as the “radical left”.

It’s just that her potential supporters – quiet Australians, to borrow a phrase from Scott Morrison – haven’t felt a sense of urgency to get involved in “boots on the ground” activism.

Until recently, that is.

“You know what I think the vast majority of mainstream Australians miss? The straight-talking Aussies of the past. I know I do,” Ms Storer told new.com.au.

“This political correctness rubbish has absolutely undermined our culture – our larrikinism, our very heritage. What we’ve become … this is not us.”

Ms Storer claims the broader community has been paralysed by fear – a fear of saying the wrong thing, being shamed, having their businesses boycotted or being “bullied” online.

“I used to love watching political clips of Paul Keating, (Bob) Hawke – those guys were straight shooters before political correctness rotted the way we talk, the way we relate to each other, the way we do business, the way we conduct politics.

“These days, they would’ve absolutely been de-platformed.

“It’s why politicians now are having to dumb down their speech, to try to say things in a way that ticks the PC box.”

She believes many figures in Canberra – of all ilks – are a shadow of what they used to be – not saying or doing much out of fear of losing votes.

“Say it like it is, call it like it is. If you want to be respected by the Australian public, that’s what you’ll do. So far, the only role political correctness has played is to eat away at our heritage, our very culture as Aussies.”

It might come as no surprise who she blames for the trend.

“This culture of pandering to the radical left, can’t be seen to call a spade a spade, dance around it, we want everyone’s votes come the next election, it has such far-reaching effects,” Ms Storer said.

Ms Storer points to the recent decision by Inner West Council in Sydney to cancel Australia Day festivities on January 26 out of respect to Indigenous peoples – a decision reportedly based on just 37 survey responses.

“Whether it’s climate alarmism, cancelling Australia Day, threatening free speech … it’s this squeaky wheel getting the oil. But the radical left are not the majority.

“It’s a small contingent getting upset about what the majority of us mainstream Australians are up to.”

She also attacked the “de-platforming” of Australian tennis great Margaret Court and rugby union star Israel Folau over their religious views and homophobic remarks.

“This constant bullying by the left – you’re not allowed to have a dissenting opinion,” Ms Storer said. “People cop it because they won’t bow a knee to the PC authoritarian rubbish.

“I do believe mainstream Australians are well and truly waking up to this. They’re sick and tired of the tripe.”

While she wouldn’t be drawn on whether she accepted some of Ms Court and Mr Folau’s remarks were offensive to the LGBT community, Ms Storer said it was unfair for anyone to suffer because of their personal beliefs.

“There’s no mainstream Australian who’ll look at that and think it’s fair and it’s OK,” she said. “Once again, it’s the radical left.”

Advance Australia launched about a year ago in a bid to mobilise the centre right to champion its own issues of importance.

“The centre right is best known for our thought leadership,” she said. “There are lots of groups out there doing good work, but we’re lacking in boots on the ground.”

Ms Storer, who has worked as an adviser to Liberal MPs at a state and federal level, was herself a local councillor in Perth for two years. Her efforts now will be focused on expanding Advance Australia’s membership base and campaigning efforts.

In Ms Storer’s view, “there’s no end of work to do”, but she identified free speech, climate change “alarmism” and national sovereignty as major concerns.

Advance Australia has 45,000 members across the country, she says, and they call the shots, deciding what campaigns are rolled out.

While the group might be on the right, Ms Storer isn’t shy to criticise her own side when the need arises.

“We (recently) saw our PM give $1 billion more, taxpayer dollars, to the CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation). For what? These guys started back in 2012 as a Labor-created, snot wad of a useless body,” she said.

“They sunk $11 billion into it at the time. It’s done absolutely nothing, except ruin our grid with a pile of unreliable renewables.

“We’ve heard en masse from our supporters saying they elected a Liberal Government that have just enacted a Labor Party.

“I don’t care whether you’re in opposition or in government, Advance Australia is here to speak for the mainstream. Whether you’re blue team or red team, we will fight you if you’re not representing us.

“We will be speaking up and calling out hypocrisy. You certainly cannot be elected saying one thing and less than six months, change and do another. You’re not going to get away with it.”

Despite some of her pointed language when discussing “the left”, Ms Storer doesn’t believe Australians are any more divided now than they have been.

She even claimed to champion a respect for differing opinions and political views.

“We can respectfully disagree with each other – we live in a representative democracy,” she said.

“Australia is the land of opportunity. That is the best thing about this place. We (can be) a lot better than we are now.

“I’m optimistic about the future because Australia, in my humble opinion, and I’ve travelled the world, is the best country on earth.”

But Ms Storer then added: “But are the radical left undermining that? Absolutely.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


28 November, 2019  

Michelle Malkin on immigration

The name "America first" goes back a long way as the name of a political movement and such movements have always been critical of immigration. In modern times the name has been adopted by a variety of fringe groups. But the advent of Donald Trump has re-energized the idea.  He makes no apology for putting America first and has done all he could to slow down the stream of illegal immigration.

So that has made "America first" a mainstream attitude.  Any Trump supporter is an America firster.  That fact has tended to bring to wider attention various organizations and individuals who have always believed in America first.  They have to a degree come in from the cold that had previously enveloped immigration critics.

But some of the old hands wander far and wide in arguing for immigration limitations.  Some old-time America firsters even mention that most dreaded word: race.  And that puts them right back into the cold.  At least some of the illegal immigrants are of a different race but you must not mention that -- and you certainly must not suggest that the small brown descendants of the Aztecs might have some difficulties adapting to America's dominant civilization.

So what do we do about inconvenient allies in opposition to  immigration? Do we denounce them as the Leftists would do or do we think that we need all the allies we can get in resisting the demographic transformation that America is undergoing?

Conservatives are divided on that. Some are so desperate to deflect attacks on them from the Left that they denounce their unorthodox brethren.  Others deplore such denunciations and congratulate the old-timers for the work they have done in raising awareness of what is happening. 

In the speech below Michelle Malkin makes it clear that in her opinion, we need all the allies we can get in checking the immigration inflow -- so she refuses to denounce the more unorthodox immigration opponents,

Subsequent to the speech she was disavowed by the some of the more dainty immigration opponents.  They will probably do little to dent her popularity, however.  Like Trump, she speaks for many. Her critics are more likely to dent their own popularity

Good evening, young patriots.

We’ve got a lot to talk about tonight and I want to hear from as many of you as possible.

If you are a liberal in this audience, congratulations. Thanks for being here. Hope you learn something. Read my books. Read and watch all the things that the Southern Poverty Law Center tells you not to read and watch. Maybe you’ll learn something. Don’t be a sheep. Question authority. Save yourselves. If you are unwilling to do so, I can’t help you. Lost cause. Let’s move on.

I’ve done YAF events for nearly 20 years. Usually, such speeches are aimed at the left and the Democrats to show how they’re wrong or evil or have double standards or how they’re the real haters or the real racists. All those things are true and I have made these arguments in earnest many, many times over the years. But tonight is not about you, Lefties. Tonight, my remarks are directed at the young men and women of this country who identify as America First conservatives. How many proud Americans standing up for American freedom and sovereignty do we have in the room?

I know what it’s like to be in your shoes, feeling marginalized on a crazy college campus for standing up for your pro-life, pro-gun, pro-free speech, pro-Western values and fighting for your country. I also have two teenagers who have been through experiences like you have, sitting in classrooms where abject stupidity and emotionalism have replaced logic, reason, and the pursuit of truth.

That is why I will not be using my platform and my position to insult you, marginalize you, and shout you down. Just a couple of days ago here on this very campus, former Fox News hostess Kimberly Guilfoyle sneered that young conservative men in MAGA hats asking inconvenient questions were rude losers who could only get dates online and who were embarrassing their parents. Another YAF speaker, Ben Shapiro, repeatedly denigrated an entire movement of young men who watch a YouTuber named Nick Fuentes and are seeking answers to tough questions about where America is headed as masturbating losers in their basements who share memes. As a mom with brilliant right-thinking kids who, yes, live in my basement, and, yes, share memes, I found these obsessive references to young people’s dating lives and habits by prominent conservative media personalities much older than their targets to be tellingly defensive and touchy. Also: creepy.

Here’s my message to the new generation of America Firsters exposing the big lies of the anti-American open borders establishment and its controlled opposition operatives: If I was your mom, I’d be proud as hell.

I want you to know that you are not alone. It’s important for you to know that not everyone who belongs to generations older than you has sat idly by while America rotted from the inside. Not all Gen Xers and Boomers are mindlessly stupefied by the bread and circuses entertainment dished out by so-called conservative media. Not all of us have occupied ourselves solely with “owning libs” and reciting clunky MAGA rap anthems while America crumbles.

I am old enough to have lived and worked in California when it was a red state. I was here in the 1990s when America First patriots fought valiantly to protect it. This month marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of Proposition 187, the Save Our State initiative. It was spearheaded by Boomer grass-roots sovereignty activists right here in southern California like Glenn Spencer and Barbara Coe, patriots I met in 1994 when I was a 24-year-old cub journalist at the Los Angeles Daily News. The media, Big Business, Hollywood, and the Soros smear machine labeled them hate-mongers and xenophobes. I called them heroes. I reported on their movement. I proudly voted for S.O.S.

Prop. 187 passed by a whopping 59-41 margin. We old guard patriots, we upholders of the rule of law, we conservers and preservers of one nation under God were the majority back then. That same year, Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, who championed the ballot measure, won with 55 percent of the vote, including 23 percent of Latino voters who backed the measure.

The victory was illusory. A liberal federal judge struck the measure down. (The same thing happened when a similar set of Boomer-era patriots spearheaded S.B. 1070 in Arizona to turn off illegal immigration magnets in 2010). There were other noble attempts to challenge the Open Borders elites. Long before Donald Trump, America First godfather Patrick J. Buchanan ran in 1992 on the sovereignty platform and has penned prolific books and prophetic editorials and columns since he started his career in the newspaper business at the age of 23 in the early 1960s. Tom Tancredo made border security and immigration enforcement the primary focus of his presidential campaign in 2008. And many of us oldsters in the conservative blogosphere and talk radio led the battle against the Bush/Rove/Chamber of Commerce amnesties in 2006 and 2007.

These so-called conservatives in Open Borders Inc. were the ones making common cause with the radical identity politics left. Before there was Charlie Kirk there was Paul Ryan, John McCain, and Jack Kemp. The same establishment Beltway crapweasels denigrating the new generation of America Firsters now were the ones who actively obstructed and smeared the previous generations as racists, xenophobes, or anti-Semites – or who passively sat on the sidelines, at cocktail parties or in green rooms or in cruise ships, schmoozing while America burned.

But all of the efforts to beat back the tide were for naught. Math had already sealed California’s ineluctable shift to the Left by the time the Prop. 187 campaign was launched. It wasn’t a backlash to Pete Wilson that turned California blue, as Talking Points GOP stooges continue to propagandize to this day. That’s a lie and I call bullshit. And you must, too. The two numbers that matter most are 1965 and 1986. Despite Prop 187’s valiant attempt to stem the tide, Ted Kennedy’s floodgate-busting Hart-Celler Act and Ronald Reagan’s amnesty-codifying Immigration Reform and Control Act paved the way for our half-century-long demographic nightmare.

After 1986, amnesty begat amnesty begat amnesty. Mass illegal immigration was compounded by mass legal migration from the Third World and jihadist breeding grounds, supplemented by the U.N.-led refugee resettlement dump that enriched open borders religious moochers from every denomination (Catholic, Lutheran, Jewish, Episcopalian) and expansive guest worker pipelines, and multiplied by chain migration.

Behind closed doors, the Soros/SPLC left cackles about the grand hoodwinking of America and the success of the demographic Reconquista. In public, they attack any truth-tellers as conspiracists peddling the Great Replacement Theory – like the Soros hitmen of Media Matters who likened me to the Tree of Life synagogue shooter in September for exposing the financiers behind demographic disaster. It isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s conspiracy fact.

Who cares what the Media Matters monkeys say? I don’t. But you know who does? Conservatism Inc, the Right’s subsidiary of Open Borders Inc filled with smug and complacent coastal elites who tremble at Soros/SPLAC’s defamatory labels and who thirstily seek the approbation of leftists who will always hate them.

It used to be that conservatives were for facts and liberals were for feelings. Now it is considered “racist” or “cynical” to look at lockstep liberal voting patterns of waves of amnestied and naturalized immigrants and fear for the future. Voting patterns are malleable, we are told.
I call bullshit.

Let’s look at the exit polls on Asian-American voters who turned out for last week’s national elections.

Asian American voter ID split 51-10 Ds over Rs in Virginia; 80-16 Ds over Rs for House of Delegate votes; and 81-15 Ds over Rs for State Senate. Asian-Americans supported stricter gun control 71-20 & supported impeachment 64-17. Top presidentrial candidates for those surveyed: Biden, Warren & Sanders.

In Philadelphia, Asian American voter ID split was 65-6 Ds over Rs. They voted for the Dem mayoral candidate 74-3. Their top 3 presidential candidates: Biden, Warren Yang. Aas favored impeachment 68-7.

In Houston, AA voter ID split 33-30 Ds over Rs. Top prez candidate Trump (38), Biden (15), Warren (12). AAs in Houston SUPPORTED MORE GUN CONTROL 58-24 and were evenly split on impeachment 41-41.

Time and again, Beltway Republicans have given in on amnesty, H-1B, and identity politics appeasing initiatives. And yet, the voting numbers among Asians, Hispanics, Muslims, and blacks for that matter, have not budged and will not budge.

Do the math.

This is my gentle maternal admonition to young people involved in the movement to persuade immigrants and minorities to “exit” the Left and vote Right. Of course it’s a good thing to reach out to non-traditional constituencies. But whatever dent you make in 2020 will be inconsequential compared to the relentless influx of 80-20 immigrants – incl. the 1 million new green card holders every year on a path to citizenship and 800,000 DACA recipients hurtling toward citizenship, and 500,000 F-1 foreign student visa holders that Conservatism Inc. and Silicon Valley are itching to award green cards and citizenship to…

America First activists are now being accused of engaging in dangerous “identity politics” and “ethno-nationalism.” The hypocrisy overfloweth. It’s the detractors of America First on the Right who shamelessly indulge in identity politics tokenism promoting a rainbow of brand ambassadors who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about when it comes to the most existential issues of our time and who immediately smear critics with the same old, worn brushes used by the radical Left. America First detractors indignantly demand that we young and old sovereignty advocates disavow European nationalist groups which most have never heard of.

Conservative Inkers now have their knives out for me, recycling Media Matters oppo research uncovering things I’ve never covered up in my reporting and advocacy on sovereignty issues over the last quarter century. They want me to disavow Nick Fuentes and VDARE and Peter Brimelow and Faith Goldy and Gavin McInnes and the Proud Boys and Steve King and Laura Loomer and on and on. They want to do to me what they’ve done to brilliant academics who’ve told the truth – Amy Wax at the University of Pennsylvania and Darren Beattie and Jason Richwine and Steve Sailer.

No, I do not agree with every last thing they’ve said or written or published or tweeted or thought with their inside or outside voices. But I will not disavow any of them and I will not join the de-platforming witch hunters who hypocritically call themselves free speech and culture warriors. I disavow violence. I disavow hatred of America. I disavow the systematic bipartisan betrayal of American citizens, students, and families by cynical politicians who promised for 25 years to build a wall, end the diversity visa lottery, end chain migration, and other memorized talking points. I disavow Republicans who told us to hold our noses and vote for open borders sellouts because we support the Second Amendment and are against abortion and we had no other choice.

Where are the disavowals of CPAC organizers who banned young nationalists but credentialed left-wing operatives masquerading as journalists like the Right Wing Watch henchman – and who embraced left-wing Soros-funded character assassin Van Jones?

I disavow the bullshit.

Young people, left or right, if you don’t do your homework and open your eyes and join forces, you are screwed. Fight the controlled opposition, don’t become it. The torch is being passed. The populist youth movement is global. It’s bigger than being a Trump supporter or Talking Points GOP gate-smasher. Show those willing to listen how to do the math. Rise to the occasion and save this country.


Faith leaders line up against Jeremy Corbyn to back Chief Rabbi’s warning on anti-Semitism

The Chief Rabbi was backed by Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh leaders on Tuesday after he attacked the “poison” of anti-Semitism in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

Ephraim Mirvis, the leader of Britain’s orthodox Jews, put Mr Corbyn’s record on anti-Semitism at the heart of the election campaign on Tuesday when he wrote in The Times that the Labour leader was “unfit for high office”.

He warned that the “very soul of our nation is at stake” in the general election.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was swift to express solidarity early on Tuesday morning, echoing the concerns over anti-Semitism but without singling out the Labour Party or Mr Corbyn.

The Muslim Council of Britain called anti-Semitism in politics “unacceptable” and also turned its fire on the Conservative Party, accusing it of “tolerating Islamophobia [and] allowing it to fester in society”. The council suggested that Muslims should also follow the Chief Rabbi’s call to “vote with their conscience” and not vote for the Tories.

‘Racist’ party under Corbyn

The Hindu Council UK supported the Chief Rabbi’s “comments on [the] Labour Party having become a racist party under Jeremy Corbyn”. Citing a resolution passed at the party conference criticising India’s actions in Kashmir and calling for self-determination for the region, it said Labour was “polarising Hindu and Muslim relations”.

Lord Singh of Wimbledon, the Sikh crossbench peer, told The Times that the Chief Rabbi’s criticism had been “very strong but I can understand the hurt”. He added that Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists also face a rise in discrimination, saying that this was often “left on the side” of the focus on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

Senior Labour figures were divided on Tuesday over how to respond to the criticism. Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, told the New Statesman: “I know the Chief Rabbi, I’ve met him many times. And I admire and respect him. But he’s wrong.”

She urged Labour supporters, however, not to “go for the messenger”, saying: “You need to think carefully about the message. And there’s no doubt that a lot of Jewish people are very angry about our seeming inability to deal with anti-Semitism in our midst.

“Everybody now accepts that we took too long to deal with it. That we weren’t strong enough about it. That is now accepted. The difficulty is that once you lose confidence or trust, it takes quite a long time to get it back.”

She added that she did not think Mr Corbyn was himself anti-Semitic.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton, a Labour peer and former lord chancellor, said the Chief Rabbi’s criticism was “deserved” and that there were “a lot of cases that have not been properly investigated”.

‘Proud of my church, ashamed of my party’

He told The World at One on BBC Radio 4: “We deserved an attack that strong, we need to deal with anti-Semitism properly. We are not dealing with the cases within the party.” He said he would support Labour at the election next month, provided that the Chief Rabbi’s “extraordinary but justified intervention will be listened to”.

Wes Streeting, the Labour candidate for Ilford North in London, shared on social media the archbishop’s message, which said: “That the Chief Rabbi should be compelled to make such an unprecedented statement at this time ought to alert us to the deep insecurity and fear felt by many British Jews.” Mr Streeting wrote: “This is how a real leader responds … I am proud of my church and ashamed of my party.”

Jess Phillips, the Labour candidate for Birmingham Yardley, said: “The only response to the Chief Rabbi that is moral is, ‘I’m sorry and I’ll do whatever I possibly can to win back your community’s trust’.”

Jon Lansman, a member of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee and chairman of the pro-Corbyn activist group Momentum, said some Jewish groups had “refused to engage” with Mr Corbyn. He told Channel 4 News: “I acknowledge the deep concern of the Jewish community about this but I think we are doing our best to deal with it, I really do.”

Luciana Berger, a former Labour MP who is now a Liberal Democrat candidate, said she had had to leave Labour because she “couldn’t change things from within”.

“I did everything within my power,” she said. “I couldn’t change things from within and sadly, as I said then and I feel very strongly today, the Labour Party is institutionally anti-Semitic.”

The Labour Party has defended its record on anti-Semitism, insisting that in government it would “guarantee the security of the Jewish community, defend and support the Jewish way of life and combat rising anti-Semitism in our country and across Europe”.


Trump junior's book gets the dagger from the NYT

Donald Trump Jr.’s book, Triggered, has been on the top of the New York Times bestsellers list for two weeks now. As soon as the book showed up on the list, the media quickly downplayed its success by noting that its sales included bulk sales, such as when the Republican National Committee bought approximately 4,000 copies for a fundraiser.

If you visit the New York Times website, you’ll notice its entry on the list has been tagged with a dagger symbol which denotes that bulk sales are included in the book’s sales figures. A publishing industry source told the New York Post ,“It’s known in the industry as the ‘deadly dagger.’ A rare penalty that is only called for flagrant fouls.”

Anti-Trumpers on social media pounced on reports like this, arguing that Donald Trump Jr. isn’t a legitimate bestselling author, and that he cheated and manipulated his sales to get on the bestseller list.

But, according to other publishing industry experts, the RNC’s bulk purchase was inconsequential to the book’s performance on the bestsellers list.

In fact, according to a book publishing industry expert who spoke to CNN Business, the suggestion the RNC purchase put Trump Jr. on the best-seller list is "all a big fuss over nothing."

"People are making way too much of something that has no basis in fact," said the person, who requested anonymity to candidly discuss the matter. "The math is obvious."

A second person who works in the book publishing industry agreed, telling CNN Business, "It would have been impossible for them to not give it number one -- even excluding the bulk copies."

According to NPD Bookscan, which analysts in the industry use to track book sales, "Triggered" sold 70,730 hardcover copies in its first week. The second book on The Times' list that week, "Finding Chika," sold 30,678 copies.

In its second week, "Triggered" sold 44,337 copies. The second book on The Times' best-seller list that week was "Sam Houston and the Alamo Avengers," which sold 23,654 copies.

While it is not known exactly how many books the RNC purchased, even with the most liberal estimates subtracted from the total sales, Don Jr.’s book would have hit number one by a large margin.

Despite this, even the Times joined in on the pile-on of Donald Trump Jr., claiming the book “topped the best-seller list thanks in part to a big order from the Republican National Committee,” a claim they know very well to be false.

Considering the bulk sales were inconsequential, why tag the book with the infamous “deadly dagger” at all? In simple terms, if the New York Times feels it should tag books with bulk sales, they’ve got every right to do so. Naturally, I decided to click through months of lists to see what books got daggers and which ones didn’t. There’s a long history of politicians buying their books in bulk. Presidential candidates release a book while they campaign, and buy books in bulk to give with a donation. Nonprofits supported by or founded by a politician will often do the same. Public figures in all fields and on both sides of the aisle are known to do this.

As I kept digging, one trend stuck out: the books tagged with daggers (and there generally weren’t many) were mostly conservative books. Could this just be a conservative phenomenon? Even I was starting to wonder, until I got all the way back to April 21, 2019. Number 14 on the list was Valerie Jarrett’s memoir, Finding My Voice, a book industry experts virtually all agreed had its sales numbers inflated by bulk and bogus sales.

No "deadly dagger." That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? We reported on the suspicious sales of this book back when they were discovered. Sales were so suspicious that Publisher’s Weekly didn’t even chart the book. “According to an industry insider, a big chunk of the book’s sales was suspect, and there was likely an effort to game the system,” I reported. “This insider believes that a single company was likely hired to buy as many as 11,000 copies of the book in such a manner that makes it appear like legitimate sales. “

The suspicious nature of Jarrett’s sales was widely reported in conservative media, but Jarrett’s book still appears on the list, dagger-free. Is it possible the New York Times was simply duped? Well, let’s see what they say about bulk sales, and how they’re reported.

Sales are defined as completed transactions by vendors and individual end users during the period on or after the official publication date of a title. Institutional, special interest, group or bulk purchases, if and when they are included, are at the discretion of The New York Times Best-Seller List Desk editors based on standards for inclusion that encompass proprietary vetting and audit protocols, corroborative reporting and other statistical determinations. When included, such bulk purchases appear with a dagger (†).
This methodology seems quite comprehensive—between the suspicious sales and media reporting on it, it seems as though Jarrett’s book should be flagged with the “deadly dagger.” The fact that it doesn't suggests a bias in the process where conservative books are getting flagged and liberal books are not. If the New York Times is gonna provide cover for Valerie Jarrett, what other books by liberal authors have not been given the "deadly dagger" as well?

PJ Media reached out to the New York Times about this discrepancy. “The Times’s best-seller lists are based on a detailed analysis of book sales from a wide range of retailers who provide us with specific and confidential context of their sales each week,” said Jordan Cohen, the Executive Director of Communications at the New York Times. “These standards are applied consistently, across the board in order to provide Times readers our best assessment of what books are the most broadly popular at that time.” Jordan then provided a list of conservative-leaning authors who have ranked on their bestseller lists since June 2008, noting that not all of them received daggers—which wasn’t what I was suggesting. Cohen did not respond to follow up inquiries before publication.

Without any sort of transparency in their process, we won’t know what kind of bias there may or may not be in how the New York Times flags books as being “manipulated” by bulk sales, but so far, the evidence suggests they’re willingly turning a blind eye to bulk sales of liberal books on their list while conservative books that are far outselling the competition are getting “deadly daggers.”


Australia: Bunnings' iconic sausage sizzle raises $600k for bushfire victims after hardcore vegans demanded the hardware giant CANCEL the fundraiser

I have no objection against people believing anything they like.  They can believe the moon is made of green cheese as far as I care.  It is when they want to impose their beliefs on others that I object

Bunnings raised more than half a million dollars for bushfire victims with a national sausage sizzle, despite a flock of irate herbivores campaigning for the fundraiser to be cancelled.

The hardware giant hosted the fundraising event last Friday with all stores across Australia raising money for those affected by bushfires that ravaged the eastern states.

The sausage sizzle raised more than $580,000 and Bunnings contributed an extra $20,000.

But the event drew criticism from the vegan community.

'Why oh why are people selling sausages to raise money when it's known that meat is a contributing factor to climate change? Which is a contributing factor to these fires!', one woman wrote on a vegan Facebook page.

'It honestly baffles my mind and makes me so sad. It's a heartbreaking cycle.'

The post went viral and has since been deleted, but dozens agreed with the woman's notion. 'They can shove their sausage where the sun don't shine,' one said.

But others believed they were looking at the fundraiser in the wrong light. 'Right now, helping those fighting the fires is more dire than fighting the meat industry for climate change,' one user posted.

'Sorry what? There is nothing they can do about the sausages already produced but they can sell them to raise funds for fire fighters who are actually facing the real fires happening right now,' another comment reads.

Despite the uproar, Bunnings Chief Operating Officer Debbie Poole thanked the thousands of people who supported the cause.

'We are so grateful that people from across Australia dropped by their local Bunnings' on Friday to buy a snag and donate to help those in need. The result would not have been possible without their generosity,' she said.

Hardware store employees in fire-affected communities helped support evacuation centres.

The funds will be donated to GIVIT - a charity that assists communities during disaster. GIVIT CEO Sarah Tennant said the money will be used to to buy items for farmers and communities in drought-affected regions, and supporting households and communities affected by bushfires.

'We will be working closely with our charity and community service partners on the ground to ensure people are getting what they require, whether that be a fridge, a table, school uniforms, or fuel and grocery vouchers.'

Four people died in unprecedented fire conditions across the eastern seaboard. 

More than 600 homes were destroyed in New South Wales since bushfire season began on October 1.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


27 November, 2019  

The Legacy of Archbishop Fulton Sheen

I often read articles by that wise old New York Irishman when I was a kid (Yes. I was that sort of kid) and always thought he made good points. He was a great ornament to the church. He was the clear thinker that Pope Francis is not.

The church was however not much impressed with Sheen at the time.  He was made only an honorary archbishop -- over a diocese that did not exist.  And he never got a red hat, immensely deserving of that though he was. 

That the church is now on the way to canonizing him is however fitting.  They are recognizing that they may have dishonoured a saint.  That has been the lot of many saints however. Sheen will be beatified in Peoria on December 21, 2019.

Kathryn Jean Lopez on Sheen:
“Discouragement is a form of pride; sadness is often caused by our egotism.” That sort of leaped off the page as I was recently doing a little reading of the work of the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, to mark the news that before the year is through, he will have made a big step toward being an official saint of the Catholic Church. The sentence was the linguistic equivalent of a five-alarm fire, to be perfectly honest, not just for our current culture but for my life.

As you might be aware, there was a protracted court battle involving Archbishop Sheen’s remains between his hometown diocese of Peoria, Illinois, and my hometown of New York, where he served in the role for which he is most well-known. Sheen was a communicator — on prime-time television, at that medium’s beginning — of the faith to the world. And I was downright sad about the move of his remains earlier this year to the Midwest. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, where he served and where his remains had been, happens to have the closest tabernacle to my office at National Review’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan. And rarely would I be in that church without praying above his remains — for his canonization, and for his help. Reading Sheen’s words about pride made me realize my own pride — my native pride had certainly been stung by the move to Peoria.

Why do we constantly cling to things of this world instead of thinking about the next? While I do think more people might be impacted by having Sheen’s earthly remains just steps from Rockefeller Center, what do I know? God has some kind of plan here. And God doesn’t want us to be sad or discouraged. He wants us to be living the fullest freedom in His wisdom.

Writing about happiness, Sheen goes on to say: “If you will whatever God wills, you will always have exactly what you want. When you want anything else, you are not happy before you get it, and when you do get it, you do not want it. That is why you are ‘up’ today and ‘down’ tomorrow.”

This is relevant especially during this time of year, and it’s why the timing of the Sheen beatification probably couldn’t be better. The holiday season tends to be hectic. But it should be reflective. It should be a time of self-examination and the giving not of material gifts but of more of our hearts. Sheen can help.

Here’s Sheen’s advice for making adjustments to how you think and live: “You will never be happy if your happiness depends on getting solely what you want. Change the focus. Get a new center. Will what God wills, and your joy no man shall take from you.” Be not afraid, in other words.

Sheen advises: “Think not that you could do more good if you were well, or that you could be more kind if you had more money, or that you could exercise more power for good if you had another position! What matters is not what we are, or what we are doing, but whether we are doing God’s will.”

And how’s this for a mantra for change? “It is not so much what happens in life that matters; it is rather how we react to it.” In his chapter on hope in a book reissued in the last year under the title “Remade for Happiness,” Sheen writes: “You can always tell the character of a person by the size of the things that make him mad. Because modern man lives in a world that has reference to nothing but itself, it follows that when depression, war, and death enter into his two-dimensional world, he tumbles into the most hopeless despair.” Talk about another apt comment for our lives in this time — it routinely takes but a tweet to get us worked up and angry.

Finally, I think this is key for us today, and it needs to be heard and digested, made a part of our lives: “There is another way out than suicide, frustration, and anonymity, and that is the way of hope, not natural hope, but supernatural hope that settles your soul in God, and directs your will toward Him. And for that to happen, you need to pause, you need to reflect, you need some silence in your life. Fight for a little silence. Fight for time for meditation and prayer. Give God some exclusive time and you may be pleasantly surprised how it changes your life. How it, indeed, settles your soul.”

Fulton Sheen should be most well-known for his devotion to a carving out a daily hour for divine contemplation. A little time every day with God, even simply communicating with him at a quiet spot at home or work or anywhere in the world. That could be the greatest gift you give yourself and everyone in your life as we wind down the year.


Popey Cites French Epic Poem to Prove Christianity Is as Violent as Islam

A French fiction writer in the 11th century imagines an occasion when Christians treated Muslims the way Muslims treat Christians. That proves that Christians are violent?  Pope Francis is a practitioner of Latin-American liberation theology, not Catholicism as it has developed over the ages

The indefatigable apologist for Islam Pope Francis on Monday issued yet another mea culpa to Muslims, saying: “A scene from The Song of Roland comes to me as a symbol, when the Christians defeat the Muslims and line them up in front of the baptismal font, with one holding a sword. And the Muslims had to choose between baptism or the sword. That is what we Christians did.”

Was it really? The Song of Roland is actually a work of fiction, a French epic poem loosely based on the Battle of Roncevaux Pass between Muslim invaders and Christian defenders in the year 778. As The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS shows, in the eleventh century, three hundred years after the battle, The Song of Roland appeared, describing the heroism of Charlemagne’s nephew Roland, who is leading the rear guard of Charlemagne’s forces and is caught up in the Muslim ambush.

Roland has an oliphant, a horn made of an elephant’s tusk, which he can use to call for help, but he initially declines to do so, thinking it would be cowardly. Finally, Roland does blow his horn. Charlemagne, way ahead of the rear guard, nonetheless hears Roland’s horn and hurries back, but it is too late: Roland and his men are dead, and the Muslims victorious. Charlemagne, however, pursues and vanquishes the Muslims, and captures Saragossa.

Thus the legend. The Song of Roland was enormously popular and inculcated in the Christians who sang and celebrated it what came to be known (in the European Middle Ages) as knightly virtues: loyalty, courage, and perseverance, even in the face of overwhelming odds. These were virtues that would be needed if Europe was to hold out against the ever-advancing jihad.

But those days are long gone, and Europe is no longer holding out against the jihad. Now the pope is much more interested in defending Islam than Christianity. In September 2017, Pope Francis met in the Vatican with Dr. Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), a group that has been linked to the financing of jihad terror. During the meeting, al-Issa thanked the pope for his “fair positions” on what he called the “false claims that link extremism and violence to Islam.”

Pope Francis Just Compared the Great Commission to Jihad
Nor was that the first time a Muslim leader has thanked the pope for being so very useful. Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Cairo’s al-Azhar, thanked him for his “defense of Islam against the accusation of violence and terrorism.” The Associated Press reported that the pope “embraced the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the prestigious Sunni Muslim center of learning, reopening an important channel for Catholic-Muslim dialogue after a five-year lull and at a time of increased Islamic extremist attacks on Christians.”

Why had there been this “five-year lull”? Because “the Cairo-based Al-Azhar froze talks with the Vatican to protest comments by then-Pope Benedict XVI.” What did Benedict say? Andrea Gagliarducci of the Catholic News Agency explains that after a jihad terrorist murdered 23 Christians in a church in Alexandria 2011, Benedict decried “terrorism” and the “strategy of violence” against Christians, and called for the Christians of the Middle East to be protected.

Al-Tayeb was furious. He railed Benedict for his “interference” in Egypt’s affairs and warned of a “negative political reaction” to the Pope’s remarks. In a statement, Al-Azhar denounced the pope’s “repeated negative references to Islam and his claims that Muslims persecute those living among them in the Middle East.”

Benedict stood his ground, and that was that. But in September 2013, al-Azhar announced that Pope Francis had sent a personal message to al-Tayeb. In it, according to al-Azhar, Francis declared his respect for Islam and his desire to achieve “mutual understanding between the world’s Christians and Muslims in order to build peace and justice.” At the same time, Al Tayyeb met with the Apostolic Nuncio to Egypt, Mgr. Jean-Paul Gobel, and told him in no uncertain terms that speaking about Islam in a negative manner was a “red line” that must not be crossed.

So Pope Benedict condemned a jihad attack, one that al-Azhar also condemned, and yet al-Azhar suspended dialogue because of the pope’s condemnation. Then Pope Francis wrote to the Grand Imam of al-Azhar affirming his respect for Islam, and the Grand Imam warned him that criticizing Islam was a “red line” that he must not cross. That strongly suggests that the “dialogue” that Pope Francis has now reestablished will not be allowed to discuss the Muslim persecution of Christians that will escalate worldwide, especially since an incidence of that persecution led to the suspension of dialogue in the first place.

What’s more, his dialogue partner, al-Tayeb, has shown himself over the years to be anything but a preacher of peace, cooperation and mercy: he has justified anti-Semitism on Qur’anic grounds; and called for the Islamic State murderers of the Jordanian pilot to be crucified or have their hands and feet amputated on opposite sides (as per the penalty in Qur’an 5:33 for those who make war against Allah and his messenger or spread “mischief” in the land. Al-Azhar was also revealed to be offering free copies of a book that called for the slaughter of Christians and other Infidels.

Francis, for his part, proclaimed that “authentic Islam and the proper understanding of the Koran reject every form of violence,” doing his bit to ensure that as many Christians as possible would remain ignorant and complacent about the jihad threat that his precious “dialogue” does nothing to mitigate.

And now he is attacking Europe’s Christian heritage and tradition. He is nothing less than a disgrace to the Church, to Judeo-Christian civilization, and to the free world.

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)


Even Tony Blair does not like what the Labour party has become

He successfully showed the British Left the benefit of moderation but all that is lost on the Labour party under the Marxist Corbyn

TONY Blair today sensationally revealed he does not want Labour to win the election - and warned a Jeremy Corbyn government would pose a risk to the UK.

The former Prime Minister hammered the leftie Labour boss' revolutionary politics and urged Brits to vote tactically for moderate candidates, even if that means voting Tory.

In a blistering intervention, Labour’s most successful ever leader accused Mr Corbyn and Boris Johnson of both “peddling fantasies”.

And he suggested he hopes no party gets a majority on December 12 and that Britain gets another hung parliament – an outcome which would mean yet more political deadlock.

He told a Reuters event in London: “The truth is, the public aren’t convinced either main party deserve to win this election outright.

“They’re peddling two sets of fantasies and both, as majority governments, pose a risk it would be unwise for the country to take.”

He added: “I don’t think a majority government of either side is a good thing.”

Instead he urged Brits to abandon their party allegiances and vote tactically for moderates whatever their political colours.

The former PM said he will still vote Labour – but said others might want to switch to the Lib Dems or Tories.

He said: “There are good, solid mainstream, independent minded MPs and candidates in both parties.

“Like many, I have been campaigning for great Labour candidates because we know parliament will be poorer without them.

“I am sure the same is true of the Conservative Party and there are those who were expelled for their moderation also standing.”

Although he said he will vote Labour, Mr Blair also took a swipe at Mr Corbyn’s hard-left agenda, warning “the problem with revolutions is never how they begin but how they end”.

And he refused to say if Mr Corbyn is fit to lead Britain. He said: “My differences with Jeremy Corbyn have been pretty well documented and my views haven’t changed, let me put it like that.

“But I think if the polls are right there is a negligible chance of a Labour majority.”

But the Tories seized on the former PM’s comments, saying he would condemn Britain to years more political deadlock in the hope of cancelling Brexit.

Tory Party chairman James Cleverly said: “Tony Blair’s comments make clear that a vote for anyone other than the Conservatives is a vote for another deadlocked Parliament and more dither, division and delay, meaning we can’t move on and focus on people’s priorities.”


The Democratic Party Faces a Choice on Israel

A few years ago, it would have been unimaginable: the Democratic Party, the party supported by the overwhelming majority of American Jews and with a long record of pro-Israel figures — Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Henry Jackson, Frank Church, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and so on — is now fielding presidential candidates calling for cutting aid to Israel.

Those include Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D–MA) and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. All three have called for making US annual military aid to Israel conditional on Israel embracing the so-called “two-state solution” — that is to say, establishing an unreconstructed, unreformed Palestinian Arab terror state on Israel’s doorstep.

Senator Sanders has said that he would “absolutely” consider cuts to American military aid to Israel in order to pressure Israel, which he described as having “an extreme right-wing government with many racist tendencies … $3.8 billion [a year] is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche to the Israeli government. If you want military aid, you’re going to have to fundamentally change your relationship [to Gaza].”

Senator Warren has said: “Right now, [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu says he is going to take Israel in a direction of increasing settlements. That does not move us toward a two-state solution. It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution, and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction then everything is on the table.”

Mayor Buttigieg states: “I think that the aid is leverage to guide Israel in the right direction … If, for example, there is follow-through on these threats of annexation, I’m committed to ensuring that the US is not footing the bill for that.”

Only in recent days has there been any notable repudiation of this position from prominent Democrats. Queried by a reporter, former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden responded, “Look, I have been on record from very early on opposed to the settlements, and I think it’s a mistake. And President [sic] Netanyahu knows my position. But the idea that we would draw military assistance from Israel, on the condition that they change a specific policy, I find to be absolutely outrageous. … Anyway, no I would  not condition it and I think its’ a gigantic mistake.”

Also, Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the US House Judiciary Committee, has criticized his Democratic colleagues: “We have a $38 billion commitment over 10 years for military aid to Israel … The Israelis need it for defense … Whether we approve or disapprove of specific policies, we shouldn’t use military aid as a pressure point on specific policies — because Israel’s security is paramount.”

Welcome as Biden and Nadler’s disavowals are, it remains astonishing that so few Democrats have come forward to repudiate these suggestions.

Allies do not issue dictates to one another. Disagreement among allies are usually handled delicately and privately, not with grandstanding threats about withdrawing aid — all of which clearly suggests that Israel is viewed in hostile terms by an increasing number of Democrats.

Consider the draconian implications of their insistence on economically and militarily penalizing  Israel to end its development of Jewish communities beyond the 1949 artistic lines. They are not only saying that these territories should be free of Jews, but revealing that they do not regard Israel as an ally.  And anyone who demands that Israel establish a Palestinian terror state ala Gaza is blind to the reality of the Arab Islamic war against the Jewish State.

The Sanders–Warren–Buttigieg trio display either hostility or ignorance, or possibly both, when they assert that US policy supports creating a Palestinian Arab state. To the contrary, the Trump administration, while not ruling it out, has explicitly not adopted this position — and it is the executive branch that sets foreign policy.

It is additionally deeply hypocritical that Senators Sanders and Warren have called for cutting aid to Israel over an issue of policy when, in September this year, both senators opposed President Trump’s cuts in aid to Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA).

The PA has refused negotiations for nearly a decade and insists it will never return to them, refused to dismantle terrorist groups, refused to end the incitement to hatred and murder that suffuses the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps, and has refused to stop paying salaries to blood-soaked, jailed terrorists and stipends to the families of deceased terrorists who murdered Jews. (These payments totaled $318 million in 2016).

The PA, moreover, has made the astonishing declaration that it regards US aid as a “political and moral right” on account of US support for Israel’s establishment in 1948. These policies adhered to by the PA diverge massively from the US position — unless Sanders-Warren-Buttigieg mean to changer that too. Yet none of these positions attracts even the suggestion from these Democrats that the PA deserves no or less US aid.

These new, diametrically-opposed positions will not long coexist in the same party. The Democratic Party is fast reaching the point where it must either succumb to the new radical leftist positions on Israel espoused by Sanders-Warren-Buttigieg (not to mention ‘The Squad’) or reassert its traditional, liberal support for the Jewish state.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


26 November, 2019  

The End of Babies

The NYT article excerpted below does a good job of showing that  there is a shortage of babies in all sorts of modern countries -- from Denmark to China.  And many possible explanations are canvassed for the phenomenon. Some of them no doubt have some role to play but none of the explanations fit all the cases.  And all are highly theoretical. So we are left with a mystery.  Why is it happening?

The explanation is in fact perfectly simple if you take a long-term view.  In earlier times when mothers routinely had 8 children or more the main reason for that was very poor contraceptive strategies.  The babies kept coming because nobody knew to stop them.  The sexual urge is a strong one and very little can stop it acting out.  Even celibate Roman Catholic priests often managed to father a baby.

Then came the contraceptive pill. It was an effective baby-blocker.  And women worldwide started blocking their babies.  Childbirth became optional.

But the interesting thing is that the pill did not block all births.  It was mainly the unwanted pregnancies that were blocked.  And among the unwanted pregnancies were  pregnancies in women who were not maternally inclined.  In the past, many women were not keen on getting pregnant but got pregnant anyway. So a large part of the population was the product of unmaternal women. Even unmaternal women reproduced. 

And because of that there were very many women in the population who were born with missing or reduced maternal motivation.  They were born to unmaternal women and inherited that motivation. And after the pill, they could live as they wished -- without children. So they did.  It was largely the unmaternal women who stopped having babies.

But the maternal instinct is strong in many women so such women  were very different.  They actively sought a life with children in it. They were willing to give up a lot to have children.  So they too did what they wanted and had children.  They kept the population alive

So we are left with a situation where it is largely maternal women who are reproducing.  The unmaternal women are editing themselves out of the gene pool. In future all the women alive will be the descendants of maternal women and the rate of childbirth will recover.  The dead-weight of unmaternal women will have been removed from the statistics by their own choices.

It is true that families across the board are much smaller than they were but there is considerable variation, nonetheless.  Some women have one child, some have four (etc.) so it seems likely that if we did not count unmaternal mothers who have deliberately refrained from giving birth we probably would have a population that is reproducing itself.

So we live at the moment in a transitional phase, when unmaternal women have mostly not yet edited themselves out of existence and it is their lack of babies that is weighing down the birth statistics.  They will be gone before long and society will rejoice again in mostly child-filled homes

I may be criticized for not mentioning fathers above.  But it is another feature of the modern world that fathers have become optional.  It is the women who decide to have the babies

Fertility rates have been dropping precipitously around the world for decades — in middle-income countries, in some low-income countries, but perhaps most markedly, in rich ones.

Declining fertility typically accompanies the spread of economic development, and it is not necessarily a bad thing. At its best, it reflects better educational and career opportunities for women, increasing acceptance of the choice to be child-free, and rising standards of living.

At its worst, though, it reflects a profound failure: of employers and governments to make parenting and work compatible; of our collective ability to solve the climate crisis so that children seem a rational prospect; of our increasingly unequal global economy. In these instances, having fewer children is less a choice than the poignant consequence of a set of unsavory circumstances. Decades of survey data show that people’s stated preferences have shifted toward smaller families. But they also show that in country after country, actual fertility has fallen faster than notions of ideal family size. In the United States, the gap between how many children people want and how many they have has widened to a 40-year high. In a report covering 28 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, women reported an average desired family size of 2.3 children in 2016, and men wished for 2.2. But few hit their target. Something is stopping us from creating the families we claim to want. But what?

There are as many answers to this question as there are people choosing whether to reproduce. At the national level, what demographers call “underachieving fertility” finds explanations ranging from the glaring absence of family- friendly policies in the United States to gender inequality in South Korea to high youth unemployment across Southern Europe. It has prompted concerns about public finances and work force stability and, in some cases, contributed to rising xenophobia.

But these all miss the bigger picture.

Our current version of global capitalism — one from which few countries and individuals are able to opt out — has generated shocking wealth for some, and precarity for many more. These economic conditions generate social conditions inimical to starting families: Our workweeks are longer and our wages lower, leaving us less time and money to meet, court and fall in love. Our increasingly winner-take-all economies require that children get intensive parenting and costly educations, creating rising anxiety around what sort of life a would-be parent might provide. A lifetime of messaging directs us toward other pursuits instead: education, work, travel.

These economic and social dynamics combine with the degeneration of our environment in ways that hardly encourage childbearing: Chemicals and pollutants seep into our bodies, disrupting our endocrine systems. On any given day, it seems that some part of the inhabited world is either on fire or underwater.

To worry about falling birthrates because they threaten social security systems or future work force strength is to miss the point; they are a symptom of something much more pervasive.

Something is stopping us from creating the families we claim to want. But what?

It seems clear that what we have come to think of as “late capitalism” — that is, not just the economic system, but all its attendant inequalities, indignities, opportunities and absurdities — has become hostile to reproduction. Around the world, economic, social and environmental conditions function as a diffuse, barely perceptible contraceptive. And yes, it is even happening in Denmark.

Danes don’t face the horrors of American student debt, debilitating medical bills or lack of paid family leave. College is free. Income inequality is low. In short, many of the factors that cause young Americans to delay having families simply aren’t present.

Even so, many Danes find themselves contending with the spiritual maladies that accompany late capitalism even in wealthy, egalitarian countries. With their basic needs met and an abundance of opportunities at their fingertips, Danes instead must grapple with the promise and pressure of seemingly limitless freedom, which can combine to make children an afterthought, or an unwelcome intrusion on a life that offers rewards and satisfactions of a different kind — an engaging career, esoteric hobbies, exotic holidays.

“Parents say that ‘children are the most important thing in my life,’” said Dr. Ziebe. By contrast, those who haven’t tried it — who cannot imagine the shifts in priorities it produces, nor fathom its rewards — see parenting as an unwelcome responsibility. “Young people say, ‘Having children is the end of my life.’”

There are, to be sure, many people for whom not having children is a choice, and growing societal acceptance of voluntary childlessness is undoubtedly a step forward, especially for women. But the rising use of assisted reproductive technologies in Denmark and elsewhere (in Finland, for example, the share of children born via assisted reproduction has nearly doubled in a little more than a decade; in Denmark, it accounts for an estimated one in 10 births) suggests that the same people who see children as a hindrance often come to want them.

Kristine Marie Foss, a networking specialist and event manager, almost missed out on parenthood. A stylish woman with a warm smile, Ms. Foss, now 50, always dreamed of finding love, but none of her serious boyfriends lasted. She spent most of her 30s and 40s single; those were also the decades in which she worked as an interior designer, created several social networks (including one for singles, “before it was cool to be single”) and expanded and deepened her friendships.

It wasn’t until she was 39 that she realized it might be time to start thinking seriously about a family. A routine visit to the gynecologist prompted an unexpected revelation: “If I become 50 or 60 and I don’t have kids, I know I’m going to hate myself the rest of my life,” said Ms. Foss, now the mother of a 9-year-old and 6-yearold via a sperm donor. Ms. Foss has joined the ranks of what Danes call “solomor,” or single mothers by choice, a cohort that has been growing since 2007, when the Danish government began covering IVF for single women.

There are those who have always sought to lay the blame for declining fertility, in some way, on women — for their individual selfishness in eschewing motherhood, or for their embrace of feminism’s expansion of women’s roles. But the instinct to explore life without children is not restricted to women. In Denmark, one out of five men will never become a parent, a figure that is similar in the United States.

Trent MacNamara, an assistant professor of history at Texas A&M University, has been pondering human attitudes toward fertility and family for over a decade. Economic conditions, he notes, are only part of the picture. What may matter more are “the little moral signals we send each other,” he writes in a forthcoming essay, “based on big ideas about dignity, identity, transcendence and meaning.” Today, we have found different ways to make meaning, form identities and relate to transcendence.

In this context, he said, having children may appear to be no more than a “quixotic lifestyle choice” absent other social cues reinforcing the idea that parenting connects people “to something uniquely dignified, worthwhile and transcendent.”

In a secular world in which a capitalist ethos — extract, optimize, earn, achieve, grow — prevails, those cues are increasingly difficult to notice. Where alternative value systems exist, however, babies can be plentiful. In the United States, for example, communities of Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, Mormons and Mennonites have birthrates higher than the national average.

Lyman Stone, an economist who studies population, points to two features of modern life that correlate with low fertility: rising “workism” — a term popularized by the Atlantic writer Derek Thompson — and declining religiosity. “There is a desire for meaning-making in humans,” Mr. Stone told me. Without religion, one way people seek external validation is through work, which, when it becomes a dominant cultural value, is “inherently fertility reducing.”

Denmark, he notes, is not a workaholic culture, but is highly secular. East Asia, where fertility rates are among the lowest in the world, is often both. In South Korea, for example, the government has introduced tax incentives for childbearing and expanded access to day care. But “excessive workism” and the persistence of traditional gender roles have combined to make parenting difficult, and especially unappealing for women, who take on a second shift at home.

The difference between life in tiny Denmark, with its generous social welfare system and its high marks for gender equality, and life in China, where social assistance is spotty and women face rampant discrimination, is vast. Yet both countries face fertility rates well below replacement levels.

If Denmark illustrates the ways that capitalist values of individualism and self-actualization can nonetheless take root in a country where its harshest effects have been blunted, China is an example of how those same values can sharpen into competition so cutthroat that parents speak of “winning from the starting line,” that is, equipping their children with advantages from the earliest possible age. (One scholar told me this can even encompass timing conception to help a child in school admissions.)

After decades of restricting most families to just one child, the government announced in 2015 that all couples were permitted to have two. Despite this, fertility has barely budged. China’s fertility rate in 2018 was 1.6.


Israel's Right to Its Ancient Land
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced U.S policy toward Israel’s “settlements” is reverting to one held by the Reagan administration; that is the right of Israelis to settle in the ancient lands of Judea and Samaria “is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.”

This is good news, not only for Israel and its right to national security and sovereignty, but after seven decades of enemy attempts to eradicate the Jewish state it says to the world, “time’s up.”

Israel’s enemies have had the most generous offers to live in peace, including the relinquishing of land captured by Israel after many aggressive and unprovoked wars and terrorist attacks. With ongoing propaganda statements by Israel’s enemies, the firing of rockets into civilian areas from Gaza and elsewhere, and ongoing sermons attempting to justify the violent overthrow of Israel and the murder of Jews, a reality check is long overdue.

Israel, under all of its prime ministers, has gone more than halfway trying to make peace. The responses have been as if no outreaches were ever made. Israel and the West have a right to question the sincerity of those Arab and Muslin nations when they continue to denounce and defame Israel and the Jewish people as illegitimate occupiers of “Palestinian” land. As long as such denial continues, there can be no opportunity for peace and Israel is well within its rights to defend itself against such ominous and ongoing verbal, theological and military threats.

It is and always has been wishful thinking to believe that people motivated by hate, a mandate from Allah to conduct what would amount to genocide against Jews and revisionist history as to the original owners of “occupied land,” would miraculously change their minds and agree to reverse decades of provocations and proof of their ultimate objective.

This has always been the danger when Westerners believe all humans are alike and given the right incentives can be persuaded to act in ways consistent with Western values and practices.

The next step is for the Israeli Knesset to validate the Trump administration’s new policy, which aligns with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ultimate goal.

As reported in the Jerusalem Post, “Likud MK Sharren Haskel proposed the bill weeks ago, but decided to fast-track it in light of the change in U.S. policy. Haskel submitted a request to exempt her bill to annex the Jordan Valley from the mandatory six-week waiting period for any new legislation, so that it can go to a vote in the plenum next week.”

Columnist Caroline Glick wrote for the publication Israel Hayot, “In the interest of promoting peace, Pompeo instead told the truth. Not only are Israeli settlements not illegal. Pompeo noted that they are arguably more justified than civilian settlements built in other disputed territories.

"In his words, the administration’s determination ‘is based on the unique facts, history, and circumstances presented by the establishment of civilian settlements in the West Bank.’ That is, it is based on the historic ties of the Jewish people to Judea and Samaria. These ties lay at the heart of Jewish history and religion.”

Indeed, they do. Now if the European Union, whose hatred of Israel goes back to the shameless days of Nazi anti-Semitism, and is now resurging, would only see the light and end its recently announced policy to require “goods from illegal settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories to be labeled as such,” perhaps some real steps forward might occur.

As long as a religious motivation for wiping out Israel persists, there will be no peace, and no two-state solution. It is why the Trump administration’s position on the legality of settlements in Judea and Samaria is not only correct, but a necessary contribution to Israel’s security and any true peace, or at least stability.


UK: Stop apologising for the past

Labour’s promise of an inquiry into Britain’s imperial history is pointless.

The Labour Party’s much-trailed manifesto is reported to include a promise to inaugurate an inquiry into ‘the legacies of British imperial rule’.

The backdrop to this proposal is a growing campaign to challenge traditional ideas about the virtues of the British Empire, and shine a new light upon the darker chapters – like the Bengal famine of 1943, which killed three million, or the torture and execution of Mau Mau fighters in Kenya’s struggle for independence.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has raised similar ideas before. Last year in Bristol he proposed a special Emancipation Education Trust to teach about slavery and Empire in schools.

The new proposal is not without precedent. Government inquiries into the Empire were commonplace in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the Colonial Office published the reports of colonial governors on a regular basis. Historians have been blessed with millions of pages of official reports put out by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and raw records kept at the Public Records Office at Kew.

However, the thinking behind the Labour Party proposal is complicated. It perhaps springs from a recognition that the Labour Party in government has long been an enthusiastic champion of imperialism, from the Great War right through to the Iraq War of 2003 and beyond.

If, as many people believe, Labour is making this new proposal because it wants the country to come to a moral judgment about the British Empire, that raises significant problems.

Governments ought to make available as much of the historical record as is practicable. One of the significant complaints made against the Colonial Office is that they appear to have kept large amounts of material hidden. They destroyed a lot, too.

Historical knowledge is constantly being deepened and nuanced, and often significantly transformed. Historical inquiry is a valuable part of the way that a community relates to its past and its goals today.

When it comes to governments casting judgment on historical events, however, the value is more doubtful. The Labour proposal is part of a movement to pass a negative judgment on the history of the British Empire. There is good reason to criticise Britain’s imperial record, which is indeed steeped in oppression and cruelty. But the virtue of the British government making pronouncements about the past is less clear. In the case of most of the events in question, the conflicts are long since passed, and the protagonists dead.

For the British government today, to strike a moral position on governments of the past is an empty kind of gesture politics. In 1997, Tony Blair apologised for not doing enough to help Irish victims of the Potato Famine of 1847. But Tony Blair was in no position to do anything about the Potato Famine, since he wasn’t born for another century.

(It was poor history, too. The problem in 1847 was not that the British government did too little to stop the famine, but that British absentee landlords did too much to promote famine. Their predatory attitude to rents left their tenant farmers dependent on a single crop — the potato — while their other produce, including wheat and beef, continued to leave the country as a form of payment of rent to the landlords.)

This year, Britain’s high commissioner expressed his deep regrets for the Amritsar Massacre by British forces in India a century ago, in 1919.

These expressions of regret fail to satisfy because everyone can see that they are tailored to meet the needs of present-day statecraft, not to fix problems from the past. Just as the British governments of 1847 and 1919 defended their actions to silence criticism, the governments of 1997 and 2019 made expressions of regret to meet their policy goals today – principally to advance Britain’s claim to moral authority in the world.

Many Britons resent the apologetic attitude to the past. They think that the willingness of Labour Party politicians, Foreign Office diplomats and university lecturers to find fault with Britain’s military past is aimed at them. The hundreds of thousands who took part in Remembrance Day services are less interested in collecting evidence of war crimes and more in honouring the sacrifice of British servicemen. Their patriotism arises out of a common commitment to the country they live in.

Many of them suspect that the rewriting of the past is about making them feel guilty for Britain’s imperial record today. They hear the apologies as saying that they should have something to feel bad about or say sorry for. The point seems to be that, as British citizens, they were privileged and pampered at the expense of the colonies’ subjected peoples. Telling people who are themselves working hard to get by that they should be sorry about the past is just a way of putting them down.

It is perhaps an indication of the judgmental implications of the contemporary anti-colonial mood that many commentators and academics wrote of the result of the 2016 referendum as a malingering sickness of imperial nostalgia (see, for example, Fintan O’Toole’s book Heroic Failure). Leave voters struggled to understand this judgment, wondering how it was that these wise owls heard ‘bring back the Empire’ when they voted to leave the European Union.

No doubt people in the future will look back at us today and wonder at the things that we are doing wrongly. But sadly, we cannot tell what judgment the historians of the future will make of us. Will they condemn us for burning fossil fuels, or will they perhaps condemn us for encouraging children to undergo sex-change surgery? Only time will tell.

To imagine that the moral judgments we make today are the last word is to make the error of ‘presentism’. Just as we are astounded by the shocking things our forebears said, so too will our descendants be shocked by us.

In George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the protagonist Winston Smith has a job rewriting past editions of the official newspaper to match the policy alignments of the present. The story is meant to shock us as a dishonest and philistine treatment of the truth. Britain’s record of imperial domination of hundreds of countries and peoples across the world cannot be expunged. Nor should we want it to be. A future Corbyn government could go through the motions of apologising for things that it did not do, but what would be the point of that?


Australia: A friend of free speech bows out, integrity intact

In the final months of 2016, a jaded Cory Bernardi was cooling his heels on a 12-week parliamentary secondment to the UN in New York.

The conservative Liberal senator was fed up with the leftward drift of the party under the prime ministership of Malcolm Turnbull, who had limped across the line at an election earlier that year having wrested the leadership from Bernardi’s good friend Tony Abbott the year before.

Bernardi, a lifelong Liberal supporter, was having dark thoughts. Through circumstance, he was now living in the same city as his mentor, former Howard government minister Nick Minchin, who was then the Australian consul-general in New York.

Minchin had sponsored Bernardi’s rise through South Australian Liberal ranks in the early 2000s as a powerful and intelligent young conservative, challenging the state’s historic moderate domination. Minchin knew where Bernardi’s mind was at, and he set to work. “While Cory was in New York we spent many a while together talking it through,” Minchin tells The Weekend Australian.

“There were quite a few of us who had difficulties with Malcolm’s view of the world. But I did a lot of work to persuade him not to leave. I wanted him to grit his teeth and hang in there. I understood what he was thinking because I had also been shattered by the Turnbull coup against Abbott, but I was desperate to keep him in the party.”

Minchin’s pleas failed to convince Bernardi, who on his return home in 2017 quit the party in ­disillusionment at Turnbull’s lead­ership and founded the unsuccess­ful Australian Conservatives.

“I understood why he did it. But he sacrificed what would have been a long and successful senior ministerial career. He could have gone all the way,” Minchin says.

This week, Bernardi announced he was leaving politics for good, but with no sense of ­regret at having quit the Liberals or derailing his own career. “I remember those chats with Nick and he definitely did sound a cautioning note in our conversations,” Bernardi tells The Weekend Australian.

“I had confided in a couple of people about where I was at. He said that I needed to realise what it would mean for my life and my ­career. It was a mentor’s concern, that I needed to understand the implications of leaving. But like all my good friends he understood the motivations for my decision. And I can console myself in the fact that the people who said bad things about me after I quit were already saying bad things about me before then ­anyway.”

Bernardi may be unique in the annals of Australian political betrayal in that he is the only politician to have “ratted” on his party and still received a warm send-off from many of the people he abandoned.

Bernardi, who turned 50 this month, will leave the parliament at the end of the year, with the SA Liberals to hold a fresh preselection to find his replacement.

The announcement came almost three years after he walked away from the Liberal Party, for whom he was elected a senator for South Australia back in 2006.

Unlike most other famous political defections and departures, Bernardi’s was motivated by ­neither spite nor self-interest.

He wasn’t Mal Colston walking out on Labor in 1996, enraged at having been denied the glorious honour of elevation to the Senate deputy presidency.

Bernardi’s reasons — like Bernardi himself — were 100 per cent ideological.

He had come to regard his relationship to the Liberal Party, then under the leadership of Turnbull, as akin to a bad marriage, where he felt that his own role was pointless and that he was living a lie ­remaining in a party that, he believed, was swinging leftward away from its traditional values.

And rather than acting out of self-interest, he acted against his own interests, in that the party he founded on his departure, ­Australian Conservatives, endured what Bernardi described with trademark bluntness as “an unmitigated disaster” at this year’s election, polling just 16,000 first-preference votes in his home state, less than one-third the result enjoyed in South Australia by One Nation.

The fledgling party had been caught in a pincer movement with traditional Liberal conservatives returning to the fold once Scott Morrison replaced Turnbull, and the headline-grabbing Pauline Hanson scooping up disaffected blue-collar and regional right-wing voters.

“The inescapable conclusion from our lack of political success, our financial position and the re-election of a Morrison-led government is that the rationale for the creation of the Australian Conservatives is no longer valid,” Bernardi wrote on the party’s website in June on announcing its deregistration.

Bernardi is now in the business of cleaning out his office in the inner-eastern suburb of Kent Town ahead of a return to the family business where he received his start in the 1990s, as publican of the now-defunct hotel Bernardi’s, a rollicking city pub propped up by an army of drunken journalists from the neighbouring Advertiser building.

Bernardi became famous for a string of so-called controversies that stemmed from his enthusiasm for plain speech, be it on ­issues such as banning the burka or his defence of the traditional family unit. While in New York, he had a front-row seat for the unheralded rise of Donald Trump, deliberately goading his lefty critics back home by posing on social media wearing a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap.

He says this week he has been reflecting on the battles he has had during the past 13 years, most of which emanated from his lived commitment to freedom of speech. He fears that censorship, self-censorship and a growing inability to agree to disagree are now the biggest threat to the exchange of ideas.

“A lot of the battles I had were really because people weren’t ready for the conversations,” he tells The Weekend Australian.

“In the fullness of time we can now have mainstream talk about the problems with China and its interference in our political system, the merits or otherwise of high immigration levels, or altering our cultural norms. I am happy to have participated and in some cases led those ­debates.

“If we stifle free speech or the battle of ideas we will go backwards as a country. I know it’s not what Australians want.

“When I consider the relationships I have formed in Canberra, there are people I respect on all sides of the political divide. It’s because I respect their intellect, their consistency, their application of principle, and the fact that they are prepared to counter the political battle in a rational and sensible way. The ones I have the least ­respect for are those who are reactive, emotionally driven, rather than driven by an actual factual nature.

“We can’t have a society where we say ‘we are going to denigrate your character because we disagree with what you say’.

“Now too often it’s about shrillness and denigrating others. Any society where 100 per cent of the people are agreeing 100 per cent of the time is a false one. You can go to North Korea for that.”

Minchin says that when Bernardi emerged on the SA political scene in the late 1990s, he was keen to enlist him to the cause in a state where the party had been historically dominated by small-l Liberals. At the time, Minchin was at the height of his enmity with moderate powerbroker Christopher Pyne. The Howard cabinet also replicated the SA factional split, with Minchin and foreign minister Alexander Downer flying the flag for the Right in a sometimes uneasy coalition with moderate ministers Amanda Vanstone and Robert Hill.

“When I got to know Cory I was struck by our common judgment on a whole range of issues,” Minchin says. “He and I shared a common view of the world. He was a fellow traveller for me, a fellow conservative. He was also a very commanding figure, and a good mate. A loyal mate. Someone who was keen to get stuck in and help the party.

“My friends and I were always on the lookout for young conservative talent to bring through the ranks. He wasn’t someone who was there out of ego or a thirst for self-promotion. At the time the moderates did have a bit of a grip on the younger side of the party and Cory helped challenge that. He did it by being honest and ­direct. He was never a game-player, he was never devious, he was what you see is what you get, not like some of the cockroaches that scurry around.”

Bernardi feels no qualms about ending his career the way he did. “I don’t take any angst or unhappiness out of this. I’ve had a wonderful journey and I’ve met some extraordinary people. Your opponents often make you better. The qualities I admire in others — integrity, honesty, resilience — are all enhanced by your opponents picking on you when they think you’re wrong.”

And while he won’t name names, he confirms that there are several farewells planned in Canberra by his former party colleagues. “There are a lot of dinners,” he says. “They’re all secret though.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


25 November, 2019

Chick-fil-A has gone over to the dark side

Leftist harassment works

Chick-fil-A’s announcement that it was dumping the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which have come under attack by gay activist groups, caught Christian fans of the fast food chain by surprise. It shouldn’t have if they had been paying attention to CFA’s corporate structure.

The donations were coming out of the Chick-fil-A Foundation. The Executive Director of the CFA Foundation is Rodney D. Bullard, a former White House fellow and Assistant US Attorney. Some may have mistaken him for a conservative because he was a fellow in the Bush Administration, but he was an Obama donor, and, more recently, had donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign while at Chick-fil-A.

Like many corporations, Chick-fil-A branded its charitable giving as a form of social responsibility. Bullard became its Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility. Unlike charity, corporate social responsibility is a leftist endeavor to transform corporations into the political arms of radical causes. Like other formerly conservative corporations, Chick-fil-A had made the fundamental error of adopting the language and the infrastructure of its leftist peers. And that made what happened entirely inevitable.

In an interview with Business Insider earlier this year, Bullard emphasized that the Chick-fil-A Foundation had a "higher calling than any political or cultural war." The foundation boss was preparing the way for the shakeup that was coming in the fall. Even while he claimed that the CFA Foundation had a higher calling than a political or cultural war, he was preparing to accommodate the Left’s cultural war.

Bullard would have been seen as a safe bet. The CFA Foundation and the Christian groups it supported were so entangled that Bullard serves on the Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board and was on the National Board of Trustees of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. But Bullard’s vision was not that of charity, but of corporate social responsibility. And the two things are fundamentally different.

Charity helps people. Corporate social responsibility is virtue signaling by capitalists to anti-capitalists. Unlike charity, corporate social responsibility isn’t about helping people, but ticking off ideological and identity politics boxes like diversity and the environment. If people accidentally get helped in the process of helping a corporation signal its membership in the politically correct creed, that can’t be helped.

The Chick-fil-A Foundation will go on funding leftist groups like Atlanta's Westside Future Fund. The Westside Future Fund is a project of the Atlanta Committee for Progress together with former Mayor Kasim Reed. It will just opt out of funding Christian groups whose views offend anyone on the Left.

The $1.7 million that the Westside Future Fund shoveled in last year from the CFA Foundation vastly outpaces the mere $115,000 that the Salvation Army got for its Angel Tree program to provide gifts for poor children during the holidays. But even that low end six figure donation was too much and the gifts had to be snatched away from the kids by leftist pressure groups and identity politics protesters.

Sorry kids, our politics are more important than your presents.

A less publicized donation of $100,000 went to Sustainable Atlanta. That could have bought a lot of gifts. There was also a $10,000 donation to Saris to Suits whose mission is to "advance women's empowerment, education, gender equality, and social justice."

There’s money for social justice, but not for the Salvation Army.

There was $25,000 for UNICEF and $75,000 for the Andrew Young Foundation. That last one isn’t a surprise. Carter’s radical UN ambassador sits on the CFA Foundation’s advisory board. $20,000 went to the Latino Leaders Network, another $20,000 to the Harvard Debate Diversity Network, $45,000 to the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and $5,000 was allotted to Friends of Refugees.

The latter boasts of resettling the sort of refugees who would demand that Chick-fil-A go Halal.

There’s money for Muslim refugees, but not for the Salvation Army.

And that’s the tip of the iceberg. “Diversity”, “equity”, and “social justice” are typical buzzwords associated with many of the organizations that the Chick-fil-A Foundation had been funding. And that’s typical of corporate social responsibility ventures which are all about pictures of smiling poor children cradling green plants accompanied by women in hijabs. There’s nothing unusual about that.

But most conservatives thought, without investigating, that Chick-fil-A was different. It wasn’t another corporate social behemoth. It didn’t answer to shareholders and stakeholders. It had a biblical vision. And, it was under fire for donating to Christian groups. But even when the CFA Foundation donated to Christian organizations, it was also pouring a lot of money into conventional social justice causes.

The controversy and arguments over the donations to organizations like the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes conveniently distracted from where a lot of the money was going.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes had received a mere $25,000 last year. Far less than the funds that poured into Andrew Young’s non-profit empire. A fig leaf.

Now the fig leaf is gone and the reality is that the Chick-fil-A Foundation is just another corporate leftist charity that lavishes cash on organizations linked to local Democrats and assorted diversity causes.

Without the fig leaf, the Chick-fil-A Foundation is no different than the other corporate charities run by their own equivalents of Bullard, men and women who had spent enough time in government to get a  useless job in the corporate world, and its abandonment of Christian conservatives was an inevitability.

And the question is what will the Christians who made Chick-fil-A boom do now?

They can either fight to hold Chick-fil-A accountable or shrug and accept another loss. Most of the country’s major brands are pipelines of cash that lead directly to leftist causes. Hardly any of the money that conservatives spend on products and services every day ends up going to conservative causes.

Major brands hammer the air with ad campaigns that directly attack the values and rights of ordinary Americans. And, most Americans, including conservatives, keep on buying from the same huge conglomerates like Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Diageo (Johnny Walker), RBI (Burger King and Popeyes), General Mills, and from retailers like Walmart, Target, and Amazon, despite their leftist politics.

Chick-fil-A was supposed to be different. If there’s any company that conservatives can hold accountable, this is it. And if they can’t hold Chick-fil-A accountable, then what’s left?

Accountability doesn’t just begin with restoring donations to worthy charities like the Salvation Army, but a serious reevaluation of the Chick-fil-A Foundation’s leadership and its overall charitable priorities.

If Chick-fil-A wants to be in the business of corporate social responsibility, rather than charity, it will over time become increasingly hostile to the very customers who made it successful. Corporate social responsibility will take it down the same dark road of virtue signaling and political correctness.

Then, before you know it, there will be a Chick-fil-A ad campaign about toxic masculinity.

And then the legacy of its founder will be as thoroughly lost as the legacies of the founders of so many other great American companies whose modern incarnations slavishly serve anti-American causes.

That would be a tragedy. This is a test of whether that tragedy is truly inevitable.

It’s also a warning. If conservatives had paid closer attention to the Chick-fil-A Foundation’s leadership, Bullard’s $1,000 donation to Hillary Clinton in 2016 would have provided a warning of what was coming.

Organizations don’t trend rightward. They trend leftward. Any organization that isn’t closely watched will go the way of the Chick-fil-A Foundation. If this can happen at Chick-fil-A, it can happen anywhere.


The "National Geographic's" Gone All PC Again

Malcolm Smith

The National Geographic is lucky I have a subscription, because I wouldn't have purchased the November 2019 issue if I'd seen it on the magazine stands.

The National Geographic, as you no doubt aware, functions to introduce its readers to interesting geographic sites around the world. This mission has permitted them to include such fields as wildlife, archaeology, and prehistoric life into their ambit. Occasionally, they have gone off onto tangents: such as discussions on chocolate, the sense of smell, and the King James Bible, all of which were nevertheless worth reading. But in February 2017 issue they lost the plot completely with an issue devoted to "gender". This month they have done it again, and devoted the issue to "Women".

      To be fair, there are a couple if useful geographic articles in it - such as the one about the women who patrol the streets of New Delhi to make it safe, and "Rwanda's renewal by women", where they hold 60% of parliamentary seats. (What's wrong with Rwandan men that they aren't prepared to run for office?) Also, the data it provides is more sensible that in the "gender" issue - not that that is a hard bench mark to cross! Some of it you can actually agree with.

     Nevertheless, the issue is basically political, not geographic - and politically biased as well. It includes a section on prominent women's contributions, more reminiscent of Time's periodic profiles of leaders. One of these is astrophysicist Rebecca Oppenheimer, who is actually a trans women. "Though her body looked male, her childhood self-portraits showed a girl named Rebecca." She transitioned in 2014 although, as she put it, "I like to say I stopped pretending to be a boy."

Now, I have previously related my experience with transsexuals. If Dr Oppenheimer is now legally a woman, I am prepared to go along with the legal fiction. But there is something wrong with the way the magazine describes this as if it were  perfectly normal. Also, surely it is grotesque that they hold up as an example of feminine achievement a "woman" who is really a man, especially since most of his achievements would have been made while he was still legally male?

     But where the magazine really loses the plot, and turns into simply a politico-social issue, is the six multi-page sections entitled, "Speak Up", where multiple prominent women provide answers to such questions as "What is you greatest strength?" and "What needs to change in the next 10 years?" It's a pity they didn't ask: "What has this got to do with the mission of the National Geographic Society?

     What makes it bad even for a socio-political perspective is that it never engages with any alternative opinions. Just as the "gender" issue never discussed mental illness or suggested that transition might be dangerous, the present issue assumes, without any suggestion to the contrary, that the feminist position is not only obviously right; it is the only one which exists.

      Thus, the statistic on the number of national legislative seats held by women. What is the point? Do they think Parliament exists in order to provide careers for politicians, or to represent the people? If the latter, do they think only women can represent women? If so, why should the other half of the human race vote for them?

      People who talk about "gender equality" don't really mean it. They think they do, but they really mean that feminine lifestyles are inferior, and that the only way that women can be "equal" is to adopt masculine lifestyles. I have provided examples elsewhere as to how this unconscious assumption is embedded in the whole feminist outlook. So what about this statistic on page 108?

43% of women - compared with 23% of men - in the U.S. have taken at least a year off with no earnings, usually to tend a child or provide other caregiving, says the Institute for Women's Policy Research. Census Bureau data show women make 80 cents for every dollar men make. But when the institute  factored in women's time away from full-time work in a 15-year period, the gap widened to 49 cents for each dollar.

     Good heavens! Where do these people get the idea that men and women live separate lives? Do they think that husbands spend all their earnings on themselves while their wives are left to spend their (49%) earnings on themselves? They ought to look up the word, hyergamy. Only as a last resort will women marry, or even date, a man socially or financially inferior.  The reason for women's lower earnings is that they marry men who can support them while they do feminine things, like taking care of children.

     The fundamental feminist fallacy - that women must adopt masculine lifestyles - is never questioned. Thus, the article on women in the military assumes that it is somehow a good thing, and not an outrage, nor is their any mention of the sexual assaults and sexual scandals involved, or the chicanery involved in addressing women's physical weakness. All we have is a female marine saying: "Women learn weakness. We can also unlearn it." Yeah, right!

     Likewise, the writer of the article on women in science has apparently never heard of the gender paradox:  the fact that, as societies become more gender equal in their policies, men and women adopt different careers. Or, to put it another way,  if you equalise culture, it allows biological differences to come to the fore.

Thus, page 117 provides a graph of the U.S. workplace representation of the sexes. We learn that science in general, and biology in particular, has the same proportion of women as the workplace average. However, the average female participation for health workers is 72.6%, rising to 97.1% for dental hygienists. It is not suggested that this is a bad thing, or that they choose these careers because they are not allowed into others. However, common sense should tell you that if women are over-represented in some fields, they must be under-represented in others: such as engineering, which is only 15.9% female.

For some reason, this is supposed to be a bad thing. The author discusses some high profile sexual harassment cases, but surely no-one suggests that hosts of women are applying for engineering careers, then dropping out due to bad experiences? Why can't they just accept that men and women are different, and choose different careers?

     The whole tenor of the issue is set by the first essay, "Why the future should be female". Complete with several pages of huge feminist posters, it adopts without question the fundamental feminist assumption: that feminine lifestyles are inferior, and so they must become more masculine.

So why do men hold more power than women today? Why does gender inequality persist? The explanation is so often: It's just the way it's always been. That's simply not good enough.

     Sorry, madam, but it is. If something is universal, and has been around as long as human memory runs, it usually means it is hard wired in our genes. Not only is patriarchy universal in human society, and always has been, but it is the default position in monkey and ape societies. It's not going away any time soon. In fact, in mixed company women become quieter, less assertive, and more compliant because, as a woman sociologist has shown,  deferential women are more likely to get husbands.

But why go back to evolutionary history when we only have to look around us? The most popular genre of fiction, amounting to 40% of mass market paperbacks, is love stories. The readership is almost wholly female, and they all feature alpha males.

Feminist publishers tried to get their authors to write more gender equal plots, but it didn't work. The authors didn't want to write them, and the readers didn't want to read them. And what is the most successful pornographic novel of all time?  Fifty Shades of Grey? Who would have thought that a story about a woman being subjugated and abused would be written by a woman, promoted by women reviewers, be read mostly by women, and would sell 125 million copies? So don't try arguing it's not hard wired in our genes.

     Some advice to the publishers: your magazine is called National Geographic, not National Political. We buy it because we want to vicariously visit exotic foreign localities. If we want to read biased feminist propaganda we can do it for free on the internet.


Pro-Trans Advertising Doesn’t Reflect Most of America

To hear college students and corporate consumer-product commercials tell it, gender fluidity is so normal, popular even, that they’re simply communicating these ideas as a way to reflect the new progressivism in America.

Only that’s not exactly the case. Their ideas aren’t at all in sync with the rest of the country.

Still, that doesn’t stop college students from talking about the “infinite” number of genders, or corporations from selling Sprite with a commercial about transgenderism and breast-binding to boot, minus any mention of the soft drink itself.

A June 2019 Gallup poll reported Americans greatly overestimate the size of the gay and transgender population in the United States. The reason seems apparent: LGBT-perpetuated concepts of gender fluidity are ubiquitous, even sensationalized, within higher education and in ad campaigns for consumer products.

In a video PragerU.com produced, Will Witt went to the University of California at Berkeley and asked a number of college students, both men and women, how many genders exist. Answers ranged from “infinite” and “like, five or six, maybe,” to “gender is a construct that’s made up” and “like, 72-plus or something.”

While most students were unable to name more than a half-dozen “genders,” all of the students Witt’s video clip showed sounded absolutely sure there were multiple genders.

Most of the rest of America disagrees.

More than half of the adults in a 2017 Pew Research poll said they think sex is assigned at birth: 80% of respondents who lean Republican think one’s sex is either male or female, while 34% who lean Democratic do.

An Ipsos poll found that among Western countries, Americans are most likely to think that transgender people have a mental illness, and they are the most likely to “say that society has gone too far in allowing people to dress and live as one sex even though they were born another,” although both of those positions represented only about one-third of American respondents.

So, Americans have yet to fully embrace the concept that gender is “fluid” and that a person can transition from one gender to another, yet it’s presented at colleges as a common belief.

A Sprite soft-drink commercial that aired recently in Argentina highlighted this strange paradox well.

In one scene, a mother is helping her adult child put makeup on and a grandmother is helping a young man dress in drag, and in another scene, a sibling or mother is helping a female put on a chest binder, so she can appear more male, a practice widely acknowledged to be harmful.

The Binding Health Project at Boston University, which specifically studied the impact of chest binding on transgender people, showed that most people who did chest binding had experienced at least one negative outcome, including “pain, overheating, and shortness of breath.”

Even though the ad was apparently released in time for a gay pride parade in Buenos Aires, the commercial has nothing whatsoever to do with selling or drinking Sprite.

In like fashion, a number of ads released in June for America’s “Pride Month” celebrate the LGBT community even as the products they are supposedly pitching are hardly mentioned, even though gender fluidity is hardly a recognized concept among the rest of America.

It’s not unlike “Latinx,” the progressive, gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina used at some universities. But Mario Carrasco of the market research agency Think Now reports, according to his survey on the issue, only 2% of Hispanics polled even like or use that term.

While all this corporate shilling for gender fluidity and “woke” progressivism on college campuses doesn’t reflect mainstream America’s views, it does hurt young people. This faux popularity can influence more teenagers to reject the concept that gender is binary.

Young people are probably the group most susceptible to commercials. That in turn could lead to peer pressure within the group to be transgender even though they aren’t.

Dr. Lisa Littman, a Brown University School of Public Health assistant professor, calls it “rapid-onset dysphoria”—that is, dysphoria as a social contagion, in much the same way youths used to get drunk or get high because of peer pressure to do so.

Littman was widely criticized for the study, despite its scientific basis and logical conclusions: Adolescents and teenagers are heavily peer-sensitive in every other respect, so why not also when it comes to this?

College campuses and corporate marketing campaigns exert great influence over the country’s psyche, especially the younger population. But don’t buy what they’re selling: They’re not actually in sync with the rest of America.


Australia: Update from Bettina on firefighters

Just a quick post-script to my recent firefighter skirmish.

Last week I heard from a professional firefighter telling me he’d approached his employers for funding for a small event to be held on International Men’s Day. He was told none was available but he could “apply for funding” for possible future events. Last March their organization, which consists of over 95% male employees, held lavish celebrations for International Women’s Day.

Here’s what he wrote to me: “I would love for you to be a voice for male firefighters to bring attention to this brazen inequality and insult to men; who risk their lives for others day in day out during their professional careers as firefighters. As you know, sadly in this current climate it is probably not wise for me to make noise about it myself for the backlash and fallout may be career limiting. ??”

I was very happy to be able to appear on Sky News last Tuesday, for International Men’s Day. And my short interview with Chris Kenny did focus on our brave firemen and the fallout over former Victorian equal opportunity commissioner Moira Rayner’s attempt to smear me.

We’ve made a short video of that interview. Given that over 5,600 people ‘liked’ her twitter post having a go at me, it would be great if you could circulate this video so people know she fell flat on her face. Here’s the link:


Via email


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


24 November, 2019

What If PETA Were Forced to Hire Recreational Hunters?

Imagine what would happen if the government passed a law forcing People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to hire someone who hunts on the weekend.

The outrage. The hysteria. The outcry.

While this is a hypothetical, a law like this was recently passed in New York. And not a peep from the mainstream media.

I wonder why. Could it be that the law only negatively affects pro-life institutions?

That’s right. This New York law interferes with the ability of pro-life pregnancy centers to make employment decisions based on their pro-life convictions.

That’s why Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on behalf of CompassCare Pregnancy Services, First Bible Baptist Church, and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates challenging this unconstitutional state law.

CompassCare Pregnancy Services is a pro-life medical provider that has been serving women facing unplanned pregnancies in Rochester, New York for over 30 years. CompassCare discusses life-affirming options with each woman who comes through its doors, and provides free resources, information, and emotional support to them.

The staff at CompassCare strives to offer a caring and non-judgmental place where a woman can go to have her questions answered, helping her make the best choice for her and her baby. And it has done just that. Women describe their experience at CompassCare as “comfortable” and the staff as “warm,” “caring,” “not judgmental,” and “extremely helpful.”

And you know what they’ve found? When women are equipped with the resources and information they need, they are more likely to choose life for their unborn babies.

Praise God! That should be something we all can celebrate!

But New York is undermining pro-life pregnancy centers like CompassCare by forcing them to violate their beliefs in key personnel and leadership decisions. In other words, New York is demanding that pro-life organizations hire pro-abortion employees – even though these employees disagree with the very mission of the organization.

Could it be that New York is specifically targeting pro-life organizations? That certainly seems clear considering that New York recently passed one of the most expansive abortion laws in the country (to a standing ovation).

Here’s the bottom line: Religious organizations, including pro-life groups and healthcare providers, should be free to hire employees based on their shared beliefs. And the government should protect that freedom, not threaten it.

Forcing organizations to violate their beliefs is unconstitutional and has no place in our society.

And that’s something we should all be able to agree upon, even abortion advocates.


A feminist critic of the trans obsession

She really is on the side of females

A Canadian library has been criticised for refusing to cancel an event hosting a feminist with controversial views on transgender rights.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside a branch of the Toronto Public Library as writer Meghan Murphy gave a talk inside.

The library defended its decision to allow her talk on gender identity and "society, the law and women".

Campaigners have called Ms Murphy anti-transgender, which she denies.

Toronto police quoted by Global News said officers had been present inside and outside the event to "keep the peace."
Global News reporter Kamil Karamali tweeted that attendees were escorted by police out the back of the building when the talk ended.

What is Meghan Murphy's stance?

Ms Murphy says she wants to ensure the safety of women in places like female prisons, women's refuges and changing rooms.

In Canada, she has spoken against a bill that amended Canada's rights act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender expression and identity over concerns it could undermine women's rights by eroding their "safe spaces".

"Under current trans activist doctrine we're not allowed to exclude a man from a woman's space if he says that he's female and I find that quite dangerous and troubling," she told the BBC.

She says she believes the transgender activist movement is "regressive and sexist" and ignores women and girls.

The talk's organisers, a group called Radical Feminists Unite, have said they are "not a hate group, and we do not espouse hate speech, or advocate for the removal of rights from any marginalised group".

The event was sold out.

Judith Taylor, from University of Toronto's Women and Gender Studies Institute, calls Ms Murphy "basically a provocateur".
She thinks that Ms Murphy, in asserting the rights of one group "is implicitly trying to sideline another" and disagrees with Ms Murphy that safe spaces and diversity cannot coexist.

"The more that we start embracing that diversity the better our learning and the better our strength," she said.

What has the library said?

City librarian Vickery Bowles released a statement in mid-October defending the decision to host the event, saying that as a public institution it has "an obligation to protect free speech".

She said that while the library supports the LGBT community and can cancel a room rental if it believes "the event will promote discrimination, contempt or hatred for any individual or group" this case does not violate its rental policies.

Ms Bowles, who sought legal opinion on the matter, added Ms Murphy has never been charged with or convicted of hate speech in Canada.

The decision to honour the room booking received the support of PEN Canada, a major writers' organisation, on Monday.

What has been the response?

Opponents to the library's decision include Toronto Mayor John Tory, who has called it "disappointing".

An online petition started by three local authors calling for the event to be cancelled had more than 8,000 signatures by Tuesday. Those who signed it said they would no longer participate in library events if Ms Murphy's talk went ahead.

Pride Toronto, the organisation behind the city's annual pride festival, warned the library "there will be consequences to our relationship for this betrayal". It said in a statement that Ms Murphy's views are "a denial of the lives, experiences and identities of trans people".

Two city councillors - Kristyn Wong-Tam and Mike Layton - are asking for a review of policies governing the use of community spaces at the Toronto library and other public spaces.

Early this year, a similar talk that included Ms Murphy at a public library in Vancouver drew both protesters and a sold-out crowd. The library was later barred from participating in the city's pride parade.

In May, Ms Murphy was invited to the Scottish Parliament to speak on transgender issues as Edinburgh planned reforms to the Gender Recognition Act to allow people to "self-declare" their legally recognised gender.

Campaigners at the time said Ms Murphy wanted transgender equality protections "ripped apart".

She was also banned from Twitter for stating that "men aren't women" and for "misgendering" transgender women on the site. She has taken legal action against the company.


Australia: Aborigine shot after attacking police

He was an habitual law-defying criminal so his behaviour was in keeping with his record.  But because he was black there is a furore

He was a decorated rookie cop commended for his bravery. Now, he stands accused of the shooting murder of a young Aboriginal man.

Footage from police body cams will likely play a vital role in finding out exactly what happened last Saturday night that led to the final moments of the teenager’s life.

Police and the family of 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker dispute what occurred in those fraught and violent few minutes before Constable Zachary Rolfe allegedly shot him either two or three times, splattering his blood across a mattress.

The footage may shed a light on why the cop made the decision to unload his firearm.

Police said Mr Walker was attacking officers. His family say the force used was out of proportion and he could have been Tasered rather than shot multiple times.

There are also questions as to why there were no medical staff in Yuendumu, deep in the Northern Territory, that night.

And why locals weren’t told of Mr Walker’s death until about 10 hours after it was confirmed as police tuned off the lights at the station and refused to speak to the distraught family outside.

Yesterday, Constable Rolfe, 28, was charged with murder.

At court hearing in Alice Springs, Constable Rolfe was granted bail and suspended with pay. The NT Police Association said he would plead not guilty. He is understood to have now left the Territory due to death threats.

The killing, which has been declared a death in custody, has stirred up ongoing anger about the deaths of Aboriginal people at the hands of police.

Again, questions are being raised as to whether the police’s responses to incidents involving Aboriginal Australians veer too quickly to lethal force.

This morning, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner urged people to let the justice system do its job. “There are many people hurting in Yuendumu and around the Northern Territory and in our police force,” he said. “As Territorians we have been through challenging times before, we cannot and will not let this divide us.”

Constable Rolfe was a decorated officer before he was charged with murder.

According to the NT News, he was a star pupil at exclusive private school Canberra Grammar before joining Northern Territory Police in 2016.

Just days after he graduated from police college, he rescued two Hong Kong tourists who had been swept away in floodwaters at Alice Springs.

His valour won him the National Bravery Medal and the Royal Humane Society’s Clarke Medal for bravery, and Hong Kong awarded him the Bronze Medal for Bravery, the first time a foreigner had been given the gong for an incident outside of the Chinese territory.

As last Saturday dawned, police set off for Yuendumu, 300km northwest of Alice Springs.

Their plan was to arrest Mr Walker, a Warlpiri man. He was released from prison in October after serving eight of a 16-month sentence for unlawful entry, property damage and stealing offences with the remainder suspended, AAP reported.

But Mr Walker was allegedly breached his parole by removing an electronic monitoring device, among other offences.

Police had agreed to postpone the arrest to later that day to allow Mr Walker to attend the funeral of a relative.

It was a busy day in Yuendumu. As police were arriving and the funeral preparations were under way, medical staff were shipping out. There had been break-ins at the local clinic and rocks thrown through the car windows of staff. Health bosses said it wasn’t safe.

Once the funeral was done, at least two officers, including Constable Rolfe, went to arrest Mr Walker. It was 7pm and there was no immediate medical staff available should the arrest turn violent.

Which it did in the worst way.

“They came with two police cars; one parked on the other side of the house,” witness Elizabeth Snape told The Australian.

According to some reports, Mr Walker was on his bed looking at his phone when police entered the property.

The NT News has quoted a source “close to the police” who said there was “face-to-face combat” between Mr Walker and the officers. One officer was reportedly stabbed, which allegedly led to the teen to be shot.

“During that time a struggle ensued and two shots were fired and he sadly passed away later,” NT acting deputy commissioner Michael White said.

The teenager allegedly lunged at one officer as the pair tried to arrest him. “My understanding is he was armed with a weapon,” Mr White said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


22 November, 2019

Do the Irish really want unification?

I’ve come back from three recent trips to Ireland marvelling: this is what a grown-up country looks like. A giant, potentially divisive issue comes along — the sudden prospect of a united Ireland, a republican dream since long before Irish partition in 1921 — and instead of treating it as a winner-take-all, biff-bang argument as in certain countries one could mention, almost all Irish seem determined to move slowly, seriously and fairly.

How to reassure mostly Protestant Unionists in Northern Ireland, who for generations have identified as British? I’ve seen a hall full of Irish people applaud a woman urging them “to be open and inclusive to Unionists”. The 4.8m Irish in the Republic and 1.9m in Northern Ireland still face a scary decade. Irish unification could revive the north’s violent Troubles. But blessedly, most Irish people realise that. Here’s a rare case of a country learning from history.

English politicians and Northern Ireland’s Unionists have done more to unite Ireland in three years than Irish republicans managed in a century. “Brexit has catapulted this issue forward,” says Padraig Ó Muirigh, adviser to the republican Sinn Féin party. “There is a real sense that we’re living in historical times.”

Last month, Boris Johnson agreed to place the de facto future border in the sea between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland. That put both Irelands in one economic zone, and showed Unionists that the English nationalist Conservatives considered them expendable. In fact, some Unionists feel they’ve had more understanding from the Dublin government.

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement stipulates that if both sides of Ireland vote in a referendum to unite, it will happen. That could be soon. Next year a hard Brexit, or a Scottish vote for independence, could encourage Northern Ireland to escape the British mess. Then, the 2021 census would become the first ever to show self-described Catholics — who traditionally back Irish unification — outnumbering Protestants in the north.

It’s as if a genie appeared and told the Irish: “Here, have your national dream.” But the Irish now aren’t sure they want it. Inching towards unification is like “juggling with china”, says Noelle O’Connell of the European Movement Ireland. For many people, it’s heart against head, explains Neale Richmond, senator for the ruling Fine Gael party. The heart says: yes. The head says: not yet, just 21 years into the generations-long process of healing sectarianism.

Does the Republic really want to import several hundred thousand hard-core Unionists, some of whom may kill for their identity? “The boys haven’t gone away,” as some there put it. And after nearly a century apart, even northern and southern Catholics have different identities.

Then there’s money. Northern income per capita is about half that of the Republic. Northern Ireland now gets about €10bn in annual British subsidies. Replacing that would cost the average person in the Republic more than €2,000 a year, possibly for decades (Germany still hasn’t closed its divide). In a poll commissioned by the broadcasters RTE and BBC in 2015, 66 per cent in the Republic supported a united Ireland in their lifetimes. But if it meant higher taxes, support dropped to 31 per cent.

As Britain has shown, there’s a simple way to settle a complex question. However, Brexit has been a crash course in the pitfalls of romantic nationalist referendums in which you vote first and discuss details afterwards. The Irish have developed a more sophisticated method: citizens’ assemblies. An assembly of 100 people was created in 2016 to study, consult broadly and report on several national issues. It’s a tool suited to a small country. The assembly’s recommendations drove a widely accepted outcome to last year’s referendum legalising abortion. One day, another assembly could prepare for unification.

But even then, the outcome could be a united Ireland containing an irreconcilable minority of mostly working-class East Belfast Protestants, some of them tattooed with queen’s heads and Union Jacks. To my surprise, even Sinn Féin doesn’t seem to want to defeat Unionists outright. The movement that spent a century fighting British rule now says it’s open to the possibility of a united Ireland rejoining the Commonwealth. Ó Muirigh hopes a new Ireland will be “a warm house for Unionists”. His father Sean “Spike” Murray, a senior Sinn Féin figure jailed for 12 years during the Troubles, told me: “We don’t want people who feel British put in a situation where their Britishness is left adrift. How can I assure that your Britishness is guaranteed?”

Murray insisted he didn’t want Unionists to “feel abandoned” by a united Irish state the way nationalists had felt under British rule. Would he or people around him have talked like that 30 years ago? “No,” he admitted. “Things were more polarised then.” The educational effect of 21 years of cross-community discussions had been “unbelievable”, he added.

Such Republican talk may simply be a bad-faith bid to gull Unionists. Things could end badly. However, I suspect the Irish will keep prioritising peace over unification. In fact, they could teach Britons and Americans something about reaching out across divides.


The counterproductive cruelties of occupational licensing

by Jeff Jacoby

An applicant for a Massachusetts cosmetology license must log 1,000 hours of education, plus two full years of hands-on experience.

COSMETOLOGISTS AND emergency medical technicians don't have much in common.

Cosmetologists treat skin, style hair, and paint nails. EMTs respond to 911 calls, administer urgent medical care, and rush patients by ambulance to hospitals.

Cosmetologists are beauty-industry professionals who help people feel good about their appearance. EMTs are first responders who help people survive violent traumas and heart attacks.

Cosmetologists rarely face a life-threatening crisis on the job. EMTs make life-or-death decisions every day.

But there is one thing cosmetologists and EMTs do have in common: Both must be licensed by the state. The amount of training and experience needed to obtain those licenses, however, could hardly be more different. An applicant for a Massachusetts EMT license has to complete just 150 hours of education in order to qualify. But anyone seeking a cosmetology license faces a far higher hurdle: An applicant must log 1,000 hours of education, plus two full years of hands-on experience, before the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will allow them to go into the beauty business.

The gaping disparity seems bizarre. You can do the critical lifesaving work of an emergency first responder after little more than a month of study, but you can't color hair and give manicures without years of training?

That's just one of the perversities highlighted in a new reporton occupational licensing in Massachusetts from the Pioneer Institute, a Boston think tank. Building on the work of the Institute for Justice, a liberty-oriented law firm that mounts legal challenges to oppressive occupational licensing rules, the Pioneer report notes that the state's licensing laws for lower-income occupations — not surgeons and airline pilots, but barbers and massage therapists — are among the most burdensome in the nation. "On average," researcher Alex Muresianu writes, "one has to pay $309 in fees, spend roughly 513 days in education and training, and take at least one exam to receive an occupational license in the Bay State."

The steep barriers to entry for cosmetologists are heavier here than in any other state, and that isn't the only profession for which Massachusetts law makes it especially difficult to acquire a license. Commercial sheet metal contractors, for example, must undergo five years of training and pay hundreds of dollars in fees to get the government's permission to work. Why? There is nothing particularly complex or dangerous about working with clients to install and repair sheet metal products. In 24 states, no license to do such work is required at all.

Similarly, Massachusetts is one of only three states that makes funeral attendants obtain a government license. It's one of only nine to require licensing for dental assistants. State law even authorizes municipalities to license fortune tellers.

And lawmakers always want to go further. Bills to impose new licensing requirements are introduced regularly. "Currently unlicensed professions legislators have tried to license," the think tank observes, "include associate home inspector, interior designer, swimming pool builder or service contractor, refrigerator technician, speech pathologist, drain cleaner, personal care attendant, and, most strangely, art therapist."

Years of empirical studies prove that requiring licenses for such occupations does little to protect public health or consumer welfare. The nation's well-being is not being eroded by all the funeral attendants and art therapists doing their work without government approval. Yet occupational licenses aren't merely ineffective; they are affirmatively harmful.

Pioneer itemizes the many negative consequences: Licensing laws sharply reduce mobility of workers between states. They depress low-income entrepreneurship. They disproportionately hurt young people, by protecting incumbent workers and obstructing those just entering the workforce. They have a particularly negative impact on minorities and the poor. In some states, including Massachusetts, they even exacerbate the student loan crisis: Occupational licenses can be stripped from borrowers who default, making it even harder for them to pay their debts.

Under Massachusetts law, cities and towns are authorized to license even fortune tellers.

Add it up, and the financial impact imposed by occupational licensing is staggering. The data compiled by Pioneer suggests that such laws cost Massachusetts more than 64,000 jobs, and deprive the state of at least $411 million in economic activity.

For any licensing requirement, there will always be a small but fervent cohort of defenders: Those already in the field who want to minimize competition. The benefit they enjoy is very real — but it comes a heavy cost to everyone else.

Pioneer puts the stakes bluntly: "Occupational licensing laws make it a crime to engage in simple behaviors like cutting hair, doing someone's nails, or arranging flowers in exchange for payment." Government shouldn't be in the business of keeping people from making a living. After all, you don't need the state's permission to be a politician or a journalist. Why should you need its approval to be a dental assistant?


Shock — Some Women Still Choose Motherhood

Women who take paid leave often end up choosing to be stay-at-home moms.

A recent study of the paid child leave law in California is proving one thing — if you subsidize something, you get more of it. The Left is none too pleased and is now pivoting away from paid leave to paid childcare.

Yeah, that motherhood thing just can’t be tolerated! So, what happened?

An analysis of tax and employment data from 2001 and 2015 by economists of the University of Utah, the University of Michigan, Middlebury College, and Chicago’s Federal Reserve reviewed the impact of the Golden State paid leave law launched in 2004. The state program uses a payroll tax aimed at encouraging women to return to work following a window of time receiving part of their salary while nurturing their newborn child at home. Both parents are permitted to take up to six weeks of paid leave.

Yet this payment to first-time mothers didn’t prevent a 7% reduction in the employment rates of these women. When these women were permitted to remain home, they ultimately decided to take themselves out of the workplace, as demonstrated by an overall reduction in wages paid to the aggregate of first-time mothers by $24,000 that did not occur to men who took advantage of the law but went back to work. Men chose to return to work, if they took time off, as evidenced by no reduction in lost wages as experienced by women abandoning their work outside the home.

Oof. That is not what the militant feminists wanted to see! In another look at this data, a MarketWatch article included this revealing opinion: “As more states follow California’s lead and enact paid leave laws, the study is a reminder about the potential for unintended consequences.”

Absolutely! Who would want women to make a personal decision to remain in the home, if possible, and care for her child?

But a finding in the study makes a piercing statement: “If investment in parenting is increasing in time spent with infants … additional leave may encourage women to invest more in their children (and less in their careers) — even if treatment by employers at the time they return to work is the same.”

Put simply, paying to spend time with their babies is resulting in … wait for it … mothers spending time with their babies! Even if women and men are treated equally with access to paid leave and treated equally to resume their work and wages upon return, it’s the women who are choosing to be a stay-at-home Mom and abandon or delay their careers.


Law professor Ann Althouse captures the commentary of an economist at Stanford, Maya Rossin in-Slater, who praised the study’s design and large data set but also warned that the California leave law didn’t fix the need for postpartum mothers to return to work: “They have fantastic data and large sample sizes relative to the prior papers, and that’s a big advance. This paper cautions us that paid leave is not a silver bullet. There are other policy tools we need to implement.”

As has been noted consistently here in our humble shop, the value of motherhood cannot be assigned with monetary currency. The time invested in children by mothers, whose fingerprints leave the indelible marks of a legacy of love, cannot be measured. Yet the work of the militant feminist movement is to minimize this value and disincentivize the choice women may make to “stay home.”

Reality proves that not every woman has that ability, but the fascinating aspect of this data was that even when barriers are removed for women to remain home and return to work, the trend is to stay home.

Just as men and women are not the same, nor are women uniform automatons.

As has also been discussed at The Patriot Post, the stated goal of the angry leftist women to achieve sameness sure does come with a lot of special demands and rights that are many times not afforded men. This sameness is not equality. It typically comes by mocking men, working to feminize them or ridicule them as dangerous, testosterone-driven oppressors. True equality values the difference but treats the equal contributions of all. That’s called merit.

One other finding in the study of the California leave law has the Left confused. Only about 15% of the claims for parental leave were by men and, when fulfilled, were for only two or three days off work, not the full benefit of up to six weeks.

What? How dare these men not allow the mother of their child to return to work immediately!

What’s wrong with these women? Choosing motherhood instead of employment is a decision that must be made in the home.

So, while this large study found that women with access to paid leave demonstrated no more likelihood of sticking with their employer than those without paid leave, one of the trials researchers, University of Michigan’s Professor Martha Bailey, told MarketWatch, “Subsidized child care would be one possible solution.”

Barriers to employment exist. Childcare is among those real issues for women who are needing employment. But mothers choosing to stay home should be honored and seen as a value to our society, not subsidized out of existence.


Uncaring Australian army top brass

Maybe just another bureaucracy but if he had been female you would never have been able to shut them up.  They are very politically "correct" these days and real heroism such as we saw from Ben are old hat or even contemptible in that mindset

The country's most decorated soldier, Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith, has lashed out at the nation's defence chiefs for failing to publicly back him as his reputation and military record suffered sustained attacks over allegations he committed war crimes during his service in Afghanistan.

Mr Roberts-Smith said be had recently been contacted by .the Australian Defence Force to conduct a "welfare check", seven years after he left the army and nearly two years after he first appeared in a series of media reports accusing him of war crimes.

The call came just days after he publicly criticised the leadership of the ADF for failing to look after soldiers after they left the military.

Mr Roberts-Smith confirmed he had been contacted by the ADF, telling The Weekend Australian: "While I appreciate the sentiment of a welfare check, it does highlight the issue at hand — it is a reactive step that occurred after my public comments."

Mr Roberts-Smith said the ADF culture "has always been this reactive self-protection from the senior leadership" and criticised the lack of support offered to transitioning Diggers, who were statistically at a higher risk of suicide after they left the military.

Mr Roberts-Smith is locked in a personal battle to clear his reputation after being accused of war crimes in a series of stories by Nine Media. He is also being investigated by the Australian Federal Police over a possible war crime committed in the Afghan village of Daman in 2012.

Mr Roberts-Smith vehemently denies any wrongdoing and is suing Fairfax Media, now owned by Nine, over the stories. He said he was loathe to compare his own troubles with those of struggling former soldiers, who he said were at greater risk. But he noted that at no point had his former bosses offered any public comment of support; despite the allegations against him being unproven.

"Given the public scrutiny I've faced and the false accusations made against me, I would have assumed the Defence Force, which created my profile and placed me on a pedestal in the public arena, would have made some public comment about my good character and service given that at no stage have I ever been approached by law enforcement," Mr Roberts-Smith said.

Mr Roberts-Smith clarified he was. not calling for Defence chiefs to be sacked after being quoted on Friday morning saying he "absolutely" believed new leadership was needed at the top of the ADF.

National president of the RSL Greg Melick said there was no need for ADF leadership to step down because of their treatment of veterans. Mr Melick said if this was the view of Mr Roberts-Smith, then "I don't agree with him".

From the "Weekend Australian" of 16/11/19


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


21 November, 2019

Academic research confirms that overdone political correctness made Trump President

Abstract below

Donald Trump as a Cultural Revolt Against Perceived Communication Restriction: Priming Political Correctness Norms Causes More Trump Support

By Lucian Gideon Conway, Meredith A. Repke, Shannon C. Houck


Donald Trump has consistently performed better politically than his negative polling indicators suggested he would. Although there is a tendency to think of Trump support as reflecting ideological conservatism, we argue that part of his support during the election came from a non-ideological source: The preponderant salience of norms restricting communication (Political Correctness – or PC – norms). This perspective suggests that these norms, while successfully reducing the amount of negative communication in the short term, may produce more support for negative communication in the long term. In this framework, support for Donald Trump was in part the result of over-exposure to PC norms. Consistent with this, on a sample of largely politically moderate Americans taken during the General Election in the Fall of 2016, we show that temporarily priming PC norms significantly increased support for Donald Trump (but not Hillary Clinton). We further show that chronic emotional reactance towards restrictive communication norms positively predicted support for Trump (but not Clinton), and that this effect remains significant even when controlling for political ideology. In total, this work provides evidence that norms that are designed to increase the overall amount of positive communication can actually backfire by increasing support for a politician who uses extremely negative language that explicitly violates the norm.

Journal of Social and Political Psychology, Vol 5, No 1 (2017)

Creepy New Sprite Commercial Sells Transgenderism and Breast Binding, Not Soda

In an inexplicable move, Sprite has released a new commercial that has nothing to do with soda and everything to do with force-feeding the public transgender theology dressed up as love and acceptance. What this has to do with quenching thirst, I have no idea.

Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire makes an interesting point. "Someone please explain the ethical difference between an ad that promotes breast binding and an ad that promotes anorexia. I bet you can't." First, both conditions are mental disorders. Body dysmorphia is nearly indistinguishable from gender dysphoria. Both people look into a mirror and see something that is not there, but only one will be treated properly for it. The other will be sent off to butchers who will remove healthy body parts to indulge the patient's delusion. Worse, minor children suffering from gender dysphoria are given sterilizing drugs that are not fully understood nor studied.

Corporations that get on the LGBTQWTF bandwagon are not new. Every June we must put up with the endless rainbow logos and virtue-signaling that takes over everything. But the choice to release this commercial in November, several months after Pride Month, is one more signal that the Transgender Mafia is stepping up their game and you will not be getting a reprieve for the rest of the year.

It's not enough to inundate people with transgender propaganda in the month of June. We must be subjected to it every single day of the year until we all conform and celebrate mental disorders. Those who suffer from similar disorders don't think this approach of accepting and celebrating illness is helpful.

"I have anorexia. Currently under control but in my 20's it nearly killed me...If a surgeon had decided the best way to treat me was to cut my body to match my diseased self-image, I'd obviously be dead. Why accept the same madness for gender dysphoria?" wrote a responder. It's a very good question and one that doctors should be asking themselves before rushing to treat an illness that has deep psychological roots with hormones and surgery.

Perhaps the most disturbing message this commercial is sending, as subtle as a sledgehammer through glass, is that parents should be affirming and helping their children hurt themselves. In one scene, a mother is helping to bind her daughter's breasts. This is a practice that can cause internal injuries and tissue damage. Telling parents they should assist their children in inflicting self-harm is the sickest thing I ever saw. Full stop.

Watch it on mute so the happy music doesn't blind you to the absolute evil on display here. And as for Sprite, it's is a crappy drink anyway that will give you diabetes, so toss it in the garbage and pass it up at the store.


This Web Designer Shouldn’t Have to Wait to Be Free to Create

They say anything worth having is also worth waiting for. We should know. We waited over three years for the Arizona Supreme Court to rule that the city of Phoenix cannot use fines and jail time to force us to create custom artwork that violates our beliefs.

Issued in mid-September, that court decision was a major win not just for us and our Arizona-based art studio (Brush & Nib Studio), but for the freedom of all Americans.

As the Arizona Supreme Court recognized, our art studio serves everyone regardless of who they are. We just can’t convey certain messages or celebrate certain events, no matter who asks us to.

Other creative professionals exercise that freedom on countless subjects all the time. We just wanted the same freedom for the subject of marriage. 

Our art studio decides what art to create based on the message of the requested art, not the requestor’s personal characteristics. But when we realized that Phoenix’s ordinance ignored this distinction and would force us to create artwork promoting same-sex marriage in violation of our beliefs, we had no choice but to file suit.

The Arizona court ruled in our favor because it recognized that disagreement with certain views is not discrimination against a class of persons. Yes, we can disagree on certain things and still respect and serve each other. And yes, we can disagree with each other without the government forcing us to say things that violate our core convictions.

The Arizona Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of artistic freedom sent an unmistakable signal to courts all over the country that “the guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion … are for everyone.” These are timeless principles that should apply coast to coast.

Yet, even in the midst of our victory, we are reminded that some, like our friend Lorie Smith, are still waiting for their turn for freedom.

Lorie is a wife, mother, artist, and entrepreneur in the Denver area. For over a decade, Lorie has offered her graphic arts and web design services through her web design studio, 303 Creative.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission holds that Lorie Smith can’t explain, on her own website, her religious beliefs about marriage and why she can’t create websites celebrating same-sex marriage. (Photo: Alliance Defending Freedom)
As a Christian, Lorie takes great joy in working with all kinds of clients. She serves all people, but she cannot create all messages that are requested of her.

For example, she states on her website that she is “always careful to avoid communicating ideas or messages, or promoting events, products, services, or organizations, that are inconsistent with [her] religious beliefs.”

So if a local pro-life pregnancy center reached out to Lorie to design a website discussing the group’s pro-life views, she’d be more than willing to take on the project. If, on the other hand, Planned Parenthood requested a website promoting abortion, she would politely decline.

She just wants that same freedom to choose what messages she conveys about marriage. Because Lorie believes that marriage is between one man and one woman, she only can lend her artistic talents to create websites celebrating that view. Yet the fact that Lorie wants to make artistic decisions consistent with her faith makes her a target for punishment by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Yes, that Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The one that sought not once, but twice, to punish Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips under the very same law.

Because of the way the commission reads the law, Lorie must be willing to design and publish websites celebrating a same-sex wedding if she creates websites celebrating an opposite-sex wedding.

In fact, the commission even reads the law to ban Lorie from explaining, on her own website, her religious beliefs about marriage and why she can’t create websites celebrating same-sex marriage. So the website designer is no longer free to speak on her own website.

Lorie doesn’t want the commission punishing her as it did Jack Phillips. That’s why she chose to challenge the state’s interpretation of its law. Her next step is an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, which her attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom filed Oct. 25. (Alliance Defending Freedom also represented us.)

You don’t have to agree with Lorie’s views to see that your freedom is at stake along with hers. “After all,” as the court in our case put it, “while [y]our own ideas may be popular today, they may not be tomorrow.”

So a government that can threaten Lorie today can threaten you just as easily tomorrow. That’s not freedom, and that’s why Lorie will continue to seek a just ruling in court.

We are hopeful her journey ends the same place ours did—a place with freedom for everyone.


Australia's religious freedom bill expands cover to protect hospitals, aged care providers

Christian Porter will grant religious hospitals and aged-care providers the same protections as faith-based schools and organisations to employ staff according to their beliefs in his final religious discrimination bill.

Speaking at the National Press Club on Wednesday, the Attorney-General confirmed he will apply the same level of protections for religious health and aged-care companies, which were not included in the draft bill released on August 29.

Mr Porter, who has held two-hour consultation meetings with more than 90 stakeholder groups since releasing the draft legislation, said religious hospitals and aged care providers should have the “ability to take into account religion in staffing decisions”.

He said religious hospitals and aged care operators had stressed the importance of retaining a “religious ethos and culture” within their organisations and had “reasonably sought an exception to the general prohibition on religious discrimination in employment that allows them to make staffing decisions in accordance with their faith”.

“The religious hospitals and aged care providers themselves recognise that competing objectives of providing access to health services and maintaining a faith-based identity must be reconciled, and seek to maintain the balanced position they themselves have arrived at reflected in the bill,” Mr Porter said.

“In the Bill that will be introduced, I can flag that one significant change from its first draft will be that religious hospitals and aged-care providers will be given protections equivalent to those given to other religious bodies, in relation to employment of staff.”

Mr Porter said consultation with religious hospitals and aged care providers had made clear that they do not “make decisions about the admission of patients based on any given patient’s religion or absence of religion, and do not seek to do so”.

“Likewise for aged care providers (with very few exceptions) they do not appear to consider religion or lack of religion before making a decision to accommodate a person,” he said.

No deadline for final vote as Senate inquiry looms

Mr Porter, who will table his final bill in parliament before December 5, confirmed he had no deadline for a final vote in parliament to push through the religious discrimination bill.

The Australian understands the legislation is likely to be referred to a Senate inquiry, and drag well into next year.

Responding to criticism from the nation’s most powerful religious groups, Mr Porter said he was seeking a “stable result and better outcome than the circumstance we have at the moment”.

“It would be a bad outcome if everyone felt that they got everything that they wanted out of this process. It is ultimately the most grinding process of balance and compromise.”

Mr Porter said he didn’t expect all religious groups and stakeholders to be “deliriously happy” once the process was finalised.

“If you imagine a continuum of happiness that goes from very unhappy to deliriously happy somewhere on that continuum is endorsement. Where while the bill doesn’t do everything that everyone might like, people nevertheless think that it’s at a reasonable point that’s worth supporting.”

Discretion ‘not viewed as discriminatory’

Mr Porter said a “particular challenge in the religious context is freedom of association”.

“Where we seek to protect people from being excluded because of their religion, we equally recognise that for religion to exist at all; religious bodies must be able to maintain a chosen level of exclusivity to their premises or composition or services.”

“For instance a religious school may admit students of many faiths or it may prefer students only of its own faith; but that discretion is not viewed by other faiths as discriminatory because they understand and accept its existential importance to all faiths.”

Mr Porter, tasked by Scott Morrison to deliver the Coalition election pledge to deliver the religious discrimination bill, said the draft legislation had adopted a “broad approach” informed by the exception in section 82 of the Victorian legislation.

“The effect is to preserve the status quo whereby a defined religious body can, in dealing with the exclusivity of its premises or composition or services, apply its own determination of the best application of its own doctrines and beliefs; and does not discriminate by acting in good faith on that basis.”

“So, for example, in Victoria it would not be discriminatory for an Islamic school to decline to employ catholic teachers (or vice versa). Or for the same school to decline to employ an irreligious person.

“For the avoidance of any doubt it cannot be stressed enough that this type of exception for religious bodies applies only in respect of decisions on matters of religious doctrine that pertain to people of different religious beliefs.”

Mr Porter confirmed his bill did not “affect the current exemptions that exist for religious bodies within other Discrimination Acts, at either State or Commonwealth level”, which has attracted criticism from religious and other groups in their submissions to the Attorney-General’s Department.

‘People will disagree’

He said religious groups had stressed to him during the consultation process that the “definition of religious body is important because of the reasonable autonomy it provides any organisation that falls inside its ambit”.

“One thing is clear, people will disagree on which rights are more important than others and where to draw the lines between them. Consultations, while constructive, inevitably end at a point where it is factually obvious that freedoms collide.”

“The unavoidable fact is that the colliding nature of rights means there is simply no way to exhaustively define their boundaries with each other in a way that sees them perfectly contour with neighbouring rights.”

Mr Porter said freedoms to associate would need to be balanced “against the right for individuals to access places and institutions free from the arbitrary exclusion of others”.

“In a structural sense the four existing Commonwealth Discrimination Acts dealing with race, sex, disability and age actually give expression to the most traditional conception of rights.” “That laws should protect us from others infringing on our natural rights as far as is reasonable.”

He said a balance needed to be struck “between anti-discrimination clauses of any type and other rights including rights to free expression and free association”.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


20 November, 2019

Chinese-made condoms too small, Zimbabwe’s health minister complains: Rushton vindicated

This report may seem to have humorous value only but it does in fact have a bearing on a substantial academic theory. J.P Rushton's r/K theory proposes that penis size is one of a set of covarying characteristics that differentiate blacks, whites and Asians, with blacks having the largest endowments and Chinese the smallest.

Rushton's claim that blacks have larger penises is not at all original. Knowledge of the difference existed in ancient times -- going as far back as Greek physician Galen. Africa has never been far from Europe.  And in the contemporary world there is much talk of white women liking black men for their larger endowment.  I have myself heard women praise bigger penises.

Most academics furiously reject the theory (e.g. here).  All men are equal, don't you know?  But their principal objection is about Rushton's data quality. Measurements not reported in peer-reviewed academic journals are scorned.  But academic journals in the social sciences  are famous for using non-samples as their databases.  The data underlying academic journal articles is rarely a representative sample of any known population. So criticizing Rushton for his data quality is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

As is constantly borne upon us in sociology, there is no such thing as a perfect dataset and the very act of doing sociology is a claim that we can feel a way through what data we do have to arrive at useful conclusions.  And Rushton's theory is well within that conventional category of an interesting theory based on imperfect data.

But the theory clearly needs more evidence before it becomes widely persuasive and the report below is surely just what is needed: A clear statement from an authoritative source.  Black penises ARE larger than Asian ones.  Rushton was clearly a good sociologist in that he threaded his way through imperfect data to arrive at a correct conclusion. He stands vindicated.

In thinking about Rushton's theory I am reminded of the late Napoleon Chagnon, a leading anthropologist who was in the beginning  widely mocked for his accounts of primitive people.  In the end it is his critics who have fallen by the wayside and he is seen as having made an important and correct contribution

A Chinese condom manufacturer says it is considering making its products in different sizes after Zimbabwe’s health minister complained that contraceptives made in China and exported to the African nation were too small for its men.
Health Minister David Parirenyatwa made the comments at an event in the capital Harare last week to promote HIV/Aids prevention, according to the website New Zimbabwe.com.

“The southern African region has the highest incidence of HIV and we are promoting the use of condoms,” Parirenyatwa was quoted as saying. “Youths now have a particular condom that they like, but we don’t manufacture them. We import condoms from China and some men complain they are too small.”

Zhao Chuan, the chief executive of the condom manufacturer Beijing Daxiang and His Friends Technology Co, told the South China Morning Post the firm was planning to make contraceptives in different sizes.

“As to the different demands from customers such as in Zimbabwe, Daxiang, as a Chinese manufacturer, has the ability and the obligation to make a contribution, so we have started to do some surveys on users’ data in the region to make preparations for future products with different sizes,” Zhao said in an email.

Zhao said that customers around the world had different requirements, with Chinese men preferring thinner condoms while not worrying about the size, while customers in North America liked a softer contraceptive.

Zimbabwe is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa worst affected by HIV/Aids, with an estimated 13.5 per cent of its adult population infected with the virus.

The use of condoms is a key way to limit the spread of infection. The country has become one of the top five condom importers in the world, according to local media reports.

China is one of the world’s largest condoms producers, according to National Health and Family Planning Commission.
The nation has about 300 condom manufacturers producing about 3 billion of the contraceptives each year.


Planned Parenthood Whistleblower Guilty of Whistleblowing

Activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were found guilty — for exposing crimes

Planned Parenthood, the abortion mill that receives half a billion American taxpayer dollars every year, engages in the illicit trafficking of body parts from aborted babies — some of them live births. The nation learned this gruesome truth in 2015 only through the undercover work of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt via the Center for Medical Progress. Yet perhaps nothing better illustrates Planned Parenthood’s power and influence than the fact that a federal jury in a San Fransisco district court found guilty not Planned Parenthood’s butchers but Daleiden and Merritt for reporting the story.

In a case that originally was launched by then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a 10-person jury found Daleiden and Merritt guilty of racketeering, conspiracy to commit fraud, breach of contract, and trespassing. Unbelievably, Planned Parenthood and several affiliates were awarded punitive damages that may exceed $2.3 million. The pair will appeal the verdict, and there’s reason to think it may reach the Supreme Court. While the case drags out, Planned Parenthood will continue to receive your tax dollars.

Daleiden said in a statement, “While top Planned Parenthood witnesses spent six weeks testifying under oath that the undercover videos are true and Planned Parenthood sold fetal organs on a quid pro quo basis, a biased judge with close Planned Parenthood ties spent six weeks influencing the jury with pre-determined rulings and by suppressing video evidence, all in order to rubber-stamp Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit attack on the First Amendment. This is a dangerous precedent for citizen journalism and First Amendment civil rights across the country, sending a message that speaking truth and facts criticizing the powerful is no longer protected by our institutions.”

Judge William Orrick did indeed prove his own pro-Planned Parenthood bias. “I just want to be very clear that I want these witnesses to be able to testify as to what their reasonable state of mind was with respect to the specific defense … but we’re not going into the truth of abortion procedures. I’ve excluded that,” Orrick said in October. And he also instructed the jury that they must only decide damages, saying, “I have already determined that these defendants trespassed at each of these locations.”

Furthermore, The Federalist’s Margot Cleveland reports, “Judge Orrick was a founder and a longtime officer and director of the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center, an organization which, according to Daleiden, houses and participates in a joint venture with one of the named Planned Parenthood affiliates.”

It seems that the only thing separating this show trial over trumped up charges from the Democrats’ impeachment charade is that, this time, the whistleblower is the “criminal.”


One Year After Sex Change, This Teen Regrets His ‘Frankenstein Hack Job’

Less than a year after having gender surgery, Nathaniel now says, “This whole thing was a bad idea. I am 19 years old, and I feel as though I have ruined my life.”

It’s heartbreaking each time I get a letter from someone who underwent gender-change surgery and regrets it, especially someone as young as Nathaniel.

With his permission, I’m telling a bit of his story to raise awareness of the young lives being ruined by the rush to surgery, and hoping that hearing the testimony of this young man will influence others on this path to slow down and consider the consequences before consenting to surgery.

In Nathaniel’s case, he says he was bullied by the boys in elementary school because he was sensitive and preferred playing girl games. When he was a bit older, he discovered internet pornography, heard about transgenderism, and as he says, “convinced myself that’s what I was.”

When he finally worked up the nerve to tell his mother in the summer after eighth grade, she made an appointment with, in his words, “a doctor at an informed-consent clinic.”

He started seeing the doctor a week after his 15th birthday, and from how he describes the next years of his teens, I’d say going to the clinic didn’t improve his life.

“From then on,” he says, “I slowly detached from everything until I was just staying home, playing video games, and going on the internet all day. I stopped reading, drawing, riding my bicycle. I surrounded myself in an echo chamber that supported and validated my poor decisions, because the others were also, unfortunately, stuck in that pit, too.”

A month after his 18th birthday, Nathaniel had what’s euphemistically called “bottom surgery.” For a male like Nathaniel, that means refashioning the male genitalia into a pseudo-vagina. He suffered some complications that required a second surgery a few months later, and he had facial surgery to further feminize his appearance.

Nine months later, he says:

Now that I’m all healed from the surgeries, I regret them. The result of the bottom surgery looks like a Frankenstein hack job at best, and that got me thinking critically about myself. I had turned myself into a plastic-surgery facsimile of a woman, but I knew I still wasn’t one. I became (and to an extent, still feel) deeply depressed.

The unpopular truth, which Nathaniel unfortunately learned the hard way at a young age, is a man is not a woman and can’t ever become a woman, even with surgically refashioned genitals and feminizing facial surgery.

Nathaniel is a bright young man who never had the benefit of sound, effective counseling, which would have prevented this horrible mistake from happening. He will deal with it for the rest of his life.

No one will help this young man to detransition. The so-called “informed-consent clinic” (as if a teenager can give informed consent) washed their hands of him. The reckless ideology claims another life.

Nathaniel’s story is not unique. Specifics may vary, but I’ve found that everyone who regrets can point to something that happened that caused them to not want to be who they are and attempt to become someone else.

For Nathaniel, “what happened” was bullying about not being male and viewing pornography on the internet. When he sought help in his distress, the transgender ideology and the gender clinic and surgeons affirmed his false thinking and enticed him down the primrose path.

Another young person with a story of medical malpractice I’ve come to know is Sydney Wright. Born female, Sydney “transitioned,” also at age 18. Now 21, she recently told her story: “I Spent a Year as a Trans Man. Doctors Failed Me at Every Turn.”

She clearly articulates the absence of counseling prior to being prescribed the powerful male hormone testosterone and the horrible effects taking it for even a short time had on her female body.

As more and more people seek help from gender clinics, we’re seeing a tidal wave of those who regret sex change. So many contact me that I wrote a book with 30 of their stories, “Trans Life Survivors.”

In an article, “Observations in a Gender Diversity Clinic,” published in Ethics and Medics, Dr. Monique Robles, a board-certified pediatric critical care physician, observed that children and adolescents are put on the path to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and “sex reassignment surgery” at gender clinics, but receive no psychological counseling.

She says that this practice is widespread and growing among gender clinics, even though a review of the medical literature shows that none of this treatment regimen is supported by strong scientific evidence. 

The reckless gender medical practitioners have blood on their hands. Both Sydney’s and Nathaniel’s young bodies bear the penalties.

It isn’t society’s fault that these teenagers suffered harm. The blame lies with the gender clinics and the medical staff who practice there.

By turning a blind eye to the scientific and ethical aspects of their chosen profession, they are directly responsible for poor outcomes, regret, detransitioning, suicides, and families torn to shreds by unnecessary surgeries.

We should be outraged at doctors and surgeons who carve up distraught people, especially teens, and leave them looking like, as Nathaniel says, “Frankenstein hack jobs.”

National public outcry is a powerful force, as we saw in the custody case of Jeff Younger in Texas. We need to support all who are battling the destructive practice of transitioning children.

Nathaniel will need proper medical care to get his life back and funds to pursue legal action, if indicated. If you’d like to help, visit sexchangeregret.com and contact me.

The good news for both Nathaniel and Sydney is that they are revitalizing their faith in Jesus and, as I know well from my lifetime of transgender experience, faith in God leads to restoration, if we allow it.


Australia's mad feminists attract international attention

Robert Franklin from the US-based National Parents Organization has been writing an excellent series of blog posts about the way the Australian feminists are “howling like banshees” over the focus of this new inquiry:

“I’ve read article after article all aimed at the same thing – casting doubt on the latest Australian Governmental review of family law and courts in the Land Down Under. Those who oppose children having full, meaningful relationships with their fathers post-divorce don’t like the new review for the simple reason that they fear the truth may at last come out.”

Franklin points out that the previous review, by the Australian Law Reform Commission, was much more to the feminists liking. He’s written very detailed blogs about what was wrong with that review - and why the women’s groups were so keen on it. Franklin’s forthcoming blog will expose misinformation and distortions included in a dreadful article by Griffith University law lecturer, Zoe Rathus, published recently in The Conversation. Rathus’ title says it all: “Parental alienation: the debunked theory that women lie about violence is still used in court.”

Former WA Law Reform Commissioner, Augusto Zimmerman, has published an excellent Spectator Australia article: "How abuse of violence orders corrupts our family law system". Zimmermann points out there is an undeniable correlation between apprehended orders, false claims of domestic violence, and parental alienation. He mentions an analysis of NSW court files, which reveals that these domestic violence cases, on average, are dealt with in less than three minutes – a shocking statistic proving that absolutely no attempt is made to investigate whether such allegations have any validity. For the woman alleging violence the system is fool proof, with no risk at all that her lies will be exposed.

Via email from Bettina Arndt: Bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


19 November, 2019

The progressive revival of family values

This is a nice bit of optimism below but it totally overlooks the fact that about half of British births are now ex-nuptual.  Marriage these days is limited to the brave and the incurable optimists.  The correct perception of marriage as much rarer and more special than it was could account for the findings below

Researchers at King’s College London have found that Brits are more socially liberal than they were 30 years ago.

For instance, they are more accepting of gay relationships. And they are more supportive of abortion. However, there is one area of behaviour of which they are now more disapproving — extramarital affairs. This is merely the latest evidence to suggest that long-term, monogamous relationships are becoming the new social norm.

The researchers found that in 1989, 40 per cent of adults considered gay relationships between consenting adults to be morally wrong. Asked the same question this year, just 13 per cent said gay relationships are wrong. Again, in 1989, when asked if homosexuals should be treated like other people, 52 per cent of respondents said they should, while 24 per cent said they should not. Today, a massive 82 per cent believe gay people should be treated equally. The same shift is discernible in attitudes towards abortion. Thirty years ago, 35 per cent thought abortion morally wrong, compared with only 18 per cent today.

This change in attitudes is a fundamentally positive development in British society. The survey shows that Britons are becoming far less bigoted and intolerant than so-called progressive commentators tend to suggest.

As to why Brits are becoming more socially liberal, Bobby Duffy, professor of public policy at King’s College London, points out that liberal baby boomers have simply moved into old age. This means the preceding, more socially conservative generation has been replaced by a more socially liberal one. At the same time, baby boomers’ liberal values have become accepted by younger generations, too.

Which makes it all the more striking that British attitudes towards infidelity have become less liberal. The proportion who thought it was wrong to have an affair with a married man or woman rose slightly, from 52 per cent of respondents in 1989 to 55 per cent today. This attitudinal shift is reflected in the year-on-year decline in the UK divorce rate since 2010. We are witnessing, perhaps, a revival of married-for-life family patterns. Curiously, liberal social commentators appear reluctant to investigate such a pattern as a good-news story – possibly because the decline in divorce rates and the increased social disapproval of sexual infidelities simply doesn’t fit with the #MeToo narrative of men as sexual predators and serial ‘womanisers’.

But it is a good-news story. The decline in the divorce rate, and the increased disapproval of sexual infidelity, are a product of women’s improved position in society and, consequently, of the greater equality within heterosexual relationships. In the recent past, men’s extramarital affairs were often premised on a disrespectful and misogynistic attitude towards women. Women were primarily valued and pursued as sex objects, not as equal partners within a marriage. Such sexist attitudes tacitly rendered male philandering socially acceptable. The growing acceptance of women’s equality has changed this.

Women today are also far less economically dependent on men and marriage than at any time in the recent past. In the late 1980s, the growing economic independence of women was used to explain the increase in divorce and family breakdown. So the fact that today the divorce rate has declined, and that both men and women tend increasingly to frown on extramarital affairs, indicates that other non-economic factors are shaping a change in attitudes.

The sociologist Anthony Giddens can shed some light here. He argued that relationships in the late 20th and early 21st century were increasingly built on what he called ‘confluent love’ and the ‘pure relationship’. This means that individuals are more likely to create meaningful relationships based on love and respect, rather than economic necessity.

In many ways, such a development runs counter to the permissive attitudes associated with the sexual revolution. The poly-sexual utopia promoted in the late 1960s no longer seems that appealing to many people. Indeed, much mainstream pop culture in the past couple of decades (from Sex in the City through to Peep Show and Fleabag) centres on the endless disappointments of fleeting hook-ups and non-returned texts (aka ‘ghosting’). They are marked, too, by a sense of loneliness. Faced with such anguish and disappointment, married couples are likelier to feel relieved at having the certainty of a long-term relationship.

In an increasingly anomic society, where social solidarities and shared national values have declined, the dependability of a stable relationship seems ever more appealing. Sociologist Chris Jenks once argued that being a good parent had become a major way to reinforce adult identities for single women. The renewed focus on long-term marriages and child-rearing indicates that, for couples, family life has also become a source of adult identity.

The King’s College survey reveals many progressive changes, particularly on attitudes to gay relationships and abortion — and the slight rise in disapproval towards extramarital affairs and infidelity is just as progressive. It is a testament to the improved position of women in society, and it shows that the ongoing #MeToo panic misses the really important positive changes affecting men and women in 21st-century relationships.


California bans sale and manufacture of fur and use of animals in circuses

Many animals used for fur -- such as mink -- are in fact farmed for the purpose so are no different from sheep, beef animals etc.  So this is  in fact an attack on all animal husbandry

California will be the first state to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products and the third to bar most animals from circus performances under a pair of bills signed Saturday by Governor Gavin Newsom. The fur law bars residents from selling or making clothing, shoes or handbags with fur starting in 2023.

Animal rights groups cheered the measure as a stand against inhumane practices. The proposal was vigorously opposed by the billion-dollar US fur industry, and the Fur Information Council of America has already threatened to sue. It follows Newsom’s signing of legislation that makes California the first state to outlaw fur trapping and follows bans on sales of fur in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare, and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur,” Newsom said in a statement.

“But we are doing more than that. We are making a statement to the world that beautiful wild animals like bears and tigers have no place on trapeze wires or jumping through flames.”

The fur ban doesn’t apply to used products or those used for religious or tribal purposes. And it excludes the sale of leather, dog and cat fur, cow hides, deer, sheep and goatskin and anything preserved through taxidermy.

It could mark a significant blow to the fur industry that makes products from animals including mink, chinchillas, rabbits and other animals. The U.S. retail fur industry brought in $1.5 billion in sales in 2014, the most recent data available from the Fur Information Council.

Fashion designers including Versace, Gucci and Giorgio Armani have stopped or say they plan to stop using fur.

Under the California law, there is a fine of up to $1,000 for multiple violations.

Animal rights groups have said animals may be subject to gassing, electrocution and other inhumane actions to obtain their fur.. Picture: AP /Rich PedroncelliSource:AP

Advocacy group Direct Action Everywhere said it’s working with activists to pass similar bills in cities nationwide, including Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon, and it’s optimistic California’s law will spur action.

“Ordinary people want to see animals protected, not abused,” said Cassie King, an organiser with the Berkeley-based group.

Opponents of the legislation have said it could create a black market and be a slippery slope to bans on other products.

The ban is part of a “radical vegan agenda using fur as the first step to other bans on what we wear and eat,” spokesman Keith Kaplan of the fur information council said in a prior statement. He further said fake fur is not a renewable or sustainable option.


Another false claim of sexual abuse

Three women contestants on CBS’ 'Survivor' admit they made false claims of 'inappropriate touching' to win the game.

“Survivor: Island of the Idols” was rocked by scandal on Wednesday, when two contestants admitted they exaggerated a complaint of “inappropriate touching” in order to win the game.

The CBS reality competition got heated in its latest episode after Kellee Kim claimed that fellow contestant Dan Spilo had developed a pattern of inappropriate touching. When Missy Byrd and Elizabeth Beisel alleged they had similar experiences with Dan, she began to cry.

With the support of the other women, Kellee brought her complaints to producers, who mediated the situation off-camera with all the show’s cast. However, once Kellee was out of earshot, Missy and Elizabeth admitted to each other that they exaggerated their reactions to Dan’s behavior in order to better position him for elimination.

According to People, Elizabeth even brazenly admitted that she didn’t feel uncomfortable but said if she “can play up that card in whatever way possible, I’ll do it.”

She added: “Honestly, I’ve felt safe this entire time and if I had felt uncomfortable I would have said, ‘Please stop.'”

Later, Missy and Elizabeth also voted for Kellee to be kicked off the island instead of Dan.

Dan, a Hollywood agent, was given the chance to apologize for his actions during the Tribal Council.

“I work in an industry in which the #MeToo movement was formed and allowed — thank God — to blossom and become powerful and strong,” he said. “My personal feeling is if anyone ever felt for a second uncomfortable about anything I’ve ever done, I’m horrified about that and I’m terribly sorry.”

“If that person was Kellee — if Kellee ever felt that in the freezing cold rain, or in tight shelters… or in all the ways we have to crawl around and through each other in this game — if I ever did anything that ever even remotely made her feel uncomfortable, it horrifies me, and I am terribly sorry.”

“True, untrue, it doesn’t matter what I feel,” he continued. “It doesn’t matter whether I’m aware of it. It doesn’t matter whether I ever sensed it. It doesn’t matter whether I knew it happened or it didn’t happen. If someone feels it, it’s their truth.”

He concluded by apologizing, but lightly chastised those who used the sensitive situation to better position themselves in the game.

“I couldn’t be more sorry. I couldn’t be more confident in that I’m one of the kindest, gentlest people I know,” he said. “I have a wife, I have been married for 21 years, I have two boys, I have a big business, I have lots of employees. I think what upset everybody here is that this has somehow turned into gameplay.”


Anti-Catholic bigotry from the Australian Human Rights Commission

Catholic schools have attacked the Australian Human Rights Commission for mischaracterising exemptions to anti-discrimination laws and suggesting religious communities were seeking to operate outside modern-day standards.

As debate ramps up around the federal government’s religious freedom bill, the National Catholic Education Commission has taken issue with “assertions” made by the commission in a ­recent policy document and its framing of exemptions as an “impediment” to human rights.

In a sharply worded letter to AHRC president Rosalind Croucher, Catholic commission executive director Jacinta ­Collins said the organisation ­rejected the AHRC’s characterisation of exemptions as “freezing in time community standards”.

“The statement is … with ­respect, a misstatement and suggests a lack of appreciation about the purposes of exemptions in anti-discrimination laws,” she writes. “We are concerned this language has the effect of ‘othering’ those with religious beliefs. It suggests that religious believers and communities which may rely on these exemptions sit apart from society and operate outside community standards.”

Othering refers to singling out a minority on the basis that their culture and beliefs are fundamentally different and therefore a risk to the majority.

The Catholic Church and education sector, which includes almost 1800 schools across the country, have been lobbying to retain their religious rights, currently afforded via religious ­exemptions to anti-discrimination law. For schools, exemptions enable them to operate in ­accordance with their faith, including preferencing enrolment of baptised students and hiring staff who support their teachings.

As the Attorney-General seeks to introduce religious discrimination laws by the end of the year, the AHRC has run a concurrent inquiry into the status of human rights, examining religious freedom protections and the operation of exemptions to anti-discrimination law.

A discussion paper outlining the AHRC’s priorities for reform, released last month, argues that “permanent exemptions have the effect of ‘freezing in time’ community standards in relation to sex, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity”.

“Accordingly, what was appropriately exempted from the operation of discrimination law 35 years ago … may not be appropriate today,” it said.

“The commission considers that all permanent exemptions need to be considered in light of the overall purpose of discrimination law to promote equality and fair treatment.”

Ms Collins’s letter points out that, in the absence of other legislation protecting religious freedom, the exemptions were effectively “balancing clauses … crucial to ensuring the freedom of all to act in accordance with religious beliefs and mission”.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


18 November, 2019

Rural Americans are 'Bad People' Who Deserve to Be Shamed, Says Berkeley parasite

It's rural Americans who keep him fed.  What has he done for them?  I think farmers are heroes. They pin their livelihood and fortunes to the weather and constantly fluctuating prices.  And we'd starve if they didn't

If you live in the farmlands of America, or in the vast mountainous regions far away from cities, a University of California Berkeley instructor wants you to know you're a bad person who has made bad choices and you deserve to be uncomfortable. The obviously brilliant person who came up with these groundbreaking conclusions is named Jackson Kernion, a self-described "Graduate Student Instructor at University of California." The since-deleted tweet that got him in trouble read, "I unironically embrace the bashing of rural Americans. They, as a group, are bad people who have made bad life decisions. Some, I assume are good people. But this nostalgia for some imagined pastoral way of life is stupid and we should shame people who aren’t pro-city.”

Campus Reform reported,

Kernion began the thread by advocating against affordable healthcare solutions in rural America, saying that “Rural Healthcare Should be expensive! And that expense should be borne by those who choose rural America!”
He argued that promoting a need for “affordable rural healthcare” is equivalent to arguing for rural Americans “to be subsidized by those who choose a more efficient way of life.”

“Same goes for rural broadband. And gas taxes,” Kernion added.

“It should be uncomfortable to live in rural America. It should be uncomfortable to not move,” he wrote.

Kernion tried to justify his statements with economic arguments about not making rural life “*artificially* cheaper,” but quickly devolved into personal attacks against rural and not “pro-city” Americans.

The good news is that Kernion had the self-awareness to realize he had insulted half of America and deleted his inflammatory statements, issuing a half-hearted apology. “Pretty sure I did a bad tweet here. Gonna delete it,” he wrote. “I’ll want to reflect on it more later, but my tone is way crasser and meaner than I like to think I am.” We've all put out a bad tweet here and there, but Kernion's long rant about rural folks sure seemed like he meant every word and that his tone was exactly how he meant it.

Since the online kerfuffle, Kernion has either been banned from Twitter or has left, because his page no longer exists. But the Twittersphere isn't going to let it go any time soon.

I'd like to invite Kernion to come spend some time in the woods in rural America with the locals and see how long he lasts without a latte and a salon appointment. It's a shame that the young men of today don't seem to understand what is necessary and good about knowing how to survive without modern conveniences. Rural America isn't looking back and pretending to live some nostalgic former pastoral life. That life never stopped.

I have chickens that need food and water every day or they'll die and I won't be able to trade fresh eggs for produce. My neighbors have livestock to feed and care for so that our community can fill our freezers with fresh meat that never sees the inside of a grocery store. Small farmers were concerned about hormones and corporate farming abuses for years before PETA got involved.

The vineyard owner across the way tends his vines like small children so that wine can be sent across the country to the parties of the elites who sip it while trading insults about the man who made it and others like him while they themselves could never turn grapes into fine wine, let alone sell it for profit.

This is actual everyday life on the farms across America, filling the plates of the city-dwellers who can't imagine traversing a road that hasn't been plowed and salted and don't know the first thing about how to get the milk they rely on for their half-caff cappuccinos if it doesn't get delivered to them via app.

I don't look forward to the day when, say, the power is shut off for millions of Californians and they have no idea what to do without Candy Crush. If that day ever comes, we here in the rural lands of America will not be here criticizing the poor choices that soft men like Kernion made by relying too heavily on smartphones and take-out instead of honing his basic human skills of survival and self-reliance. We will be here, willing to show people like Kernion what's great about us and our chosen way of life while we pull them out of darkness and chaos.


Rewriting Disney's 'Woke' Wrongs

It’s still sort of a big deal when Disney re-releases one of its classic animated movies. In years past, the parents of the six-year-olds who loved “Frozen” swooned over “The Lion King,” while their own parents were likely taken in by “The Jungle Book.” Yet in introducing its new streaming service, the Disney conglomerate has caved to political correctness by running a disclaimer at the beginning of many of its classic movies and warning us that they may contain “outdated cultural depictions.”

But some people are never satisfied. Those who complain that “The Lion King” had “racist hyenas” and “The Jungle Book” was full of its own racial coding don’t think Disney went far enough. Naturally, they’ve taken to Twitter and are comparing Disney’s disclaimer to a stronger one issued by Warner Brothers for its “Looney Tunes” cartoons a few years ago — a warning that the animated depictions were “wrong then and they are wrong today.”

On the surface, it’s surprising just how reasonable Disney’s disclaimer is given how quickly it’s running to placate the Rainbow Mafia with scenes of same-sex kisses and kids “coming out” on the Disney Channel. But the movie studio that brought us Mickey Mouse has already sanitized a significant portion of its history, editing out a character in “Fantasia” and essentially forever erasing the “Song of the South,” with only its classic “Zippity-Do-Dah” tune still in circulation. Disney apparently believes these parts of its past are just too offensive for the sensibilities of today’s audiences. We suppose the company is right.

One thing Disney doesn’t reveal with its disclaimer, though, is just which “outdated cultural depictions” are the trigger within these movies. In that respect, it can be argued (and eventually believed) that the entire movie is an “outdated cultural depiction.” So what happens when the hero is a white, straight male who gets the girl in the end? Is that outdated because today’s heroine must be a woman of color with a same-sex partner?

The other problem is that Disney’s disclaimer implies that the cultural norms of our past — which included things like the nuclear family, faith in our Creator, and a strong work ethic — are now somehow suspect. And in a society that’s theoretically more colorblind than ever, some of these “outdated cultural depictions” might well pass unnoticed by younger audiences that were never exposed to those stereotypes.

Perhaps we should hang onto all those old Disney titles on VHS, because It’s a Woke World, After All.


Hate crimes are a snark

"Hate crimes" are so loosely defined these days that it is a wonder that there are not hundreds of thousands of them reported

In a nation of more than 325 million people, there were 7,120 “hate crimes” reported to the FBI in 2018. That isn’t to minimize those crimes; it’s to put this in perspective. This represents a slight decrease from the prior year (7,175), which should be good news. Of course, the Leftmedia only sees fit to push the false “woke” narrative that America is the “land of bigotry.” NBC’s headline reads, “Nearly 1 in 5 hate crimes motivated by anti-LGBTQ bias, FBI finds.” CBS blares, “FBI: Hate crime murders hit record in 2018; crimes targeting transgender people soar.” (That record is 24 murders out of more than 16,000.) And The Mercury News states, “FBI report shows surge in hate crime murders and crimes against Latinos, transgender people.”

With headlines like these, one is led to believe that “hate crimes” are a major and pressing problem. Hyperbole sells. But more significantly, it shifts perceptions.

First and foremost, American conservatives by their very value system utterly reject these “hate crimes,” irrespective of how the MSM may caricature them. Despite how exceedingly tiresome it is, it bears repeating that any group that elevates race and ethnicity as primary to one’s political ideology, i.e. white nationalists, is no more conservative than is Louis Farrakhan.

The truth is, America today is far from a racist and bigoted nation. America is also a nation with a vibrant political system in which roughly half the population adheres to a relatively conservative perspective on the role of government.

Unfortunately, rather than seeking to honestly and impartially recognize this reality, much of America’s mainstream media, following the lead of leftist Democrats, regularly demonizes conservatives as being motivated by hatred and bigotry. That supposedly serves as the explanation for conservative political perspectives and rejection of socialism.

Frankly, it’s amazing that there aren’t more “hate crimes” given the Left’s constant promulgation of divisive identity politics. Indeed, if Democrats’ and the Leftmedia’s characterization of conservatives were actually true, then one should expect to see “hate crimes” numbering in the tens if not hundreds of thousands. Just think of how many firearms conservatives own. But we digress.

Demanding that everyone not only tolerate but embrace lifestyle choices that directly attack the core values of millions of people — and then crying foul and destroying lives when people refuse — is an attitude and expectation that is itself contentious, provocative, and an invitation for conflict.

When the Rainbow Mafia verbally attacks and labels people as “homophobic” and bigoted for refusing to bow to their sexually deviant dogma, there will unfortunately be a few who lack the patience and good sense to not criminally hit back.


Australia: Ludicrous new rule could see thousands of firefighters BANNED from battling deadly bushfires

Yet another case of toxic bureaucracy in firefighting

A 'ludicrous' new rule requiring volunteer firefighters to receive a work-with-children check could see thousands of them banned from battling blazes.

Queensland volunteers will be required to lodge a Blue Card application before December 1. or they will not be able to continue helping battle fires.

This new rule could see 15,000 volunteers banned from fighting fires from January 1 if they failed to apply for work-with-children checks.

Deadly fires have been burning throughout Queensland and New South Wales for more than a week resulting in four deaths.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner, John Bolger, recently broke the news to volunteers.

'Any QFES volunteer who is required to have a Blue Card, but refuses to apply for one, or is unable to hold a current Blue Card, will not be able to continue their role,' Mr Bolger said.

'As a member of the Rural Fire Service, you are likely to come into contact with children while performing your role, so are required to have a Blue Card. It is the law.'

Volunteers from NSW or Victoria do not need similar credentials. 

Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland boss, Justin Choveaux, is concerned the new law will result in fewer people available to fight deadly fires.

'They defend the state for free and do dangerous things. Getting rid of 75 per cent of the membership of the truck brigades is not a good plan,' Mr Choveaux told The Courier Mail.

He also said many rural firefighters felt offended by the new law because they were being treated like potential paedophiles.

Veteran volunteer firefighter and grandfather, Ian Swadling, said he would refuse to comply with the new rule. 

'I think it would be very foolish to start dismissing trained firefighters in the worst fire season the state's seen in 60 or 70 years,' Mr Swadling said.

The volunteer from Villeneuve near Toowoomba said his only contact with children in the 30 years of firefighting was showing off the truck at the local show. 

In correspondence obtained by The Sunday Mail, acting Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Mike Wassing said volunteers needed Blue Cards in case they came across students who had been evacuated or were on their way home.

He said these checks will be required because firefighters are classified as a health service. 

Mr Wassing also criticised volunteers who questioned the working-with-children check.

'Let me be clear that disrespectful conversations regarding the Blue Card process, including questioning the integrity of those people who are currently reluctant to apply, is not acceptable,' he said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


17 November, 2019

Running can help you live longer. And more isn’t always better

Here we go again.  As usual, the researchers did not ask WHY people were in their various categories. In particular, who were the non-runners?  Many were probably not very well, and that would swing the overall averages for their category  -- so all we have here is a finding that people who were not very well had shorter lives -- how astounding is that?

All these correlational studies fall because of the basic statistical dictum that correlation is not causation.  So they will never deliver watertight conclusions. But that is not a counsel of despair.  By controlling for likely confounders (such as health, above) they can still deliver persuasive evidence on their question

But very few researchers make much of an attempt at controls. Income and social class are the big lacunae.  Both are of course politically sensitive so that is part of the reason for the gap but I think another one is laziness.  Once they have done enough to get into the journals they think they have done enough

But it is not enough.  Every study of the subject that I have ever seen shows poverty to be a big influence on health. So even in the present study that could be at work.  Jogging and other running exercise seem to be a mainly a middle class activity.  So the researchers below were probably contrasting poorer people with middle class people.  So all they showed was nothing more that what we have always known -- that the poor die younger.  Big deal!

Education is a reasonably easy datum to get and that is often controlled for and presented as evidence of demographic control -- but that is a very feeble attempt.  As a measure of social class, for instance, it overlooks the big role of subjective class

It is true that getting income and social class data is the hardest part of survey research.  But I nearly always got that in my research career so it just depends on how much you are invested in your research.  I really wanted to find out what is going on rather than just producing something that was "publishable".  And I got lots published anyway.

One major reason americans don’t get enough exercise is they feel they don’t have enough time. It can be difficult to squeeze in the 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week that federal guidelines recommend; only about half of Americans do, according to the most recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But new research suggests people may be able to get life-lengthening benefits by running for far less time.

In a new analysis of 14 studies, researchers tracked deaths among more than 232,000 people from the U.S.,

Denmark, the U.K. and China over at least five years, and compared the findings with people’s self-reports about how much they ran. People who said they ran any amount were less likely to die during the follow-up than those who didn’t run at all. Runners were 27% less likely to die for any reason, compared with nonrunners, and had a 30% and 23% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer, respectively. This was true even for those who didn’t log a great deal of time. The analysis grouped people into clusters, with 50 minutes or less per week representing the group that ran the least—but still ran.

“Regardless of how much you run, you can expect such benefits,” says Zeljko Pedisic, associate professor at the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University in Australia, and one of the authors of the new analysis published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine ("Is running associated with a lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and is the more the better? A systematic review and meta-analysis")

The analysis is The latest to illustrate the benefits of running on the human body. “It’s what we evolved to do,” says Daniel Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University (who was not involved in the new research). People may no longer chase down prey for their next meal, but running is still helping us survive: as leisure-time exercise, it keeps us healthy. “One of the best ways to avoid having to see a doctor,” Lieberman says, “is to stay physically active.”

The physical demands of running “affect just about every system of the body” in a beneficial way, Lieberman says. Take the cardiovascular system. Running forces it to adapt by “generating more capacity,” he says. “You grow more capillaries and small arteries, and that helps lower your blood pressure.” (High blood pressure is a major cause of health problems and death.) Running is good at guarding against cancer partly because it uses up blood sugar, starving the cancer cells that rely on it for fuel. And it protects you in other ways not necessarily measured in the latest research: by decreasing inflammation, for example, which is at the root of many diseases, and stimulating the production of a protein that improves brain health, Lieberman says. “Vigorous physical activity has been shown to be by far—with no close second—the best way to prevent Alzheimer’s,” he notes.

The good news for people who want the maximum longevity benefits—while spending the least amount of time slapping one foot in front of the other—is that running more than 50 minutes per week wasn’t linked to additional protections against dying. Neither were how often people ran and the pace they kept. As long as you’re running, more isn’t always better, especially given that the risk of injury increases with repetition.


Want Children? Pick Mr Good Enough! Fertility experts warn when it comes to having children women should stop hanging on for Mr Right

When it comes to having children, a fertility expert says women should stop looking for Mr Right and settle for ‘Mr Good Enough’.

Those who hang on too long, waiting for the ideal father, may run out of time to have a baby, according to consultant gynaecologist Dr Meenakshi Choudhary.

Dr Choudhary spoke after presenting a talk on IVF at the Ovarian Club’s annual meeting in Paris.

She said women should stop looking for ‘fairytale’ relationships and be aware of their biological clocks.

Her comments came as the number of women freezing their eggs has doubled since 2013, with more than 1,300 procedures carried out in 2016.

British experts reported last year that women often did so to avoid ‘panic parenting’ and having a baby just to avoid running out of time.

Dr Choudhary, of Newcastle Fertility Centre, said: ‘It is a myth that women leave it later to have a child until they have climbed the career ladder, with studies showing it is much more likely to be because they have not met Mr Right.

‘I would advise women not to wait for Mr Right but to go for Mr Good Enough if they want to have children.’

She is studying how the amount and quality of women’s eggs changes as they age, and needs women aged up to 44 to donate eggs.


Anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats overtake the Social Democrats to become the country's most popular party for the first time, new opinion poll reveals

Anti-immigrant party the Sweden Democrats have become the country's most popular party for the first time, a poll released today revealed.

The far-right group overtook the Social Democrats, nine years after winning its first seats in parliament.

A new opinion poll showed the Sweden Democrats would get 24.2 per cent of the votes if an election was held now.

But the Social Democrats would get 22.2 per cent, the lowest ever polled by Swedish pollsters Demoskop.

This newest survey was published in the the Swedish daily newspaper, Aftonbladet.

The Social Democrats, who are in a coalition government along with junior party The Greens, have been criticised in recent months for failing to deal with a gang-related crime wave.

In the 2018 election the Sweden Democrats won 17.5 per cent of the vote, trailing the Social Democrats on 28.3 per cent and the Moderates on 19.8 per cent.

Jimmie Akesson, leader of the Sweden Democrats, attributed the new figures to crime and immigration.

He told Aftonbladet today: 'I'm not surprised. I've long argued we would be the biggest party sooner or later.

'We've been talking constructively over gang criminality, escalating insecurity, and a migration policy that doesn't work for so many years.'

Lena Radstrom Baastad, party secretary for the Social Democrats, blamed their dip in popularity on the compromises the party made to form a coalition in January.

She said: 'It's a damned tough situation right now, so I'm not surprised when you consider what we've got against us, with gang murders, shootings and explosions. It's us, as a the ruling party, who has to pay the price.'

Following a general election in September 2018, the Social Democrats formed a coalition with The Greens and formed a policy agreement with the centre-right parties, the Liberals and the Centre Party.

Right-wing parties The Moderates, Sweden Democrats and Christian Democrats now have a combined 49.4 per cent of the vote, putting them well ahead of the left-liberal bloc of Social Democrats, Green Party, Centre Party and Liberal Party.


Australia: The Queensland government is to legislate every tenant's dream

And guess who will be most badly affected by that?  Tenants.  Like most do-gooder legislation, it will hurt most those it tries to help.

Why do landlords impose restrictions that tenants dislike?  They have to in order to remain in business.  I am a very experienced landlord (now ex) so let me give you a crystal clear example of why the present restrictions are in place

Pets:  Most landlords do not allow them.  Why?  Because pets shit and piss and even well behaved ones will occasionally do it on the landlord's carpet, which will then stink. 

So what happens when the pet owners move out?  The landlord has to try to re-let a place that stinks of pet excreta.  Very few people will move into such a place.  Smell-removing treatments achieve little so the ladlord has to rip up and replace the carpet -- costing thousand of dollars, far more than can ever be covered by a bond.  The landlord would have been better off never to let the pet owners into his place

And guess what?  The new legislation will tell landlords that they MUST allow pets

So what would every rational landlord do in that case?  Stop renting the property out. Sell it instead.  And the supply of rental accomodation will steadily dry up from that point on.

So the only way poor people will in future be able to get accomodation will be to move into accomodation that is priced to cover the risks -- at a much higher rent.  So people who once were able to afford their own house or apartment will have to share -- and thus experience a much more crowded and trying accomodation experience.

Well done, do-gooders!  An editorial from the "Courier Mail" below:

PROPOSED sweeping changes to tenancy laws in Queensland should be given close scrutiny to ensure the right balance is struck between the rights of renters and landlords. Under plans revealed in today's The Courier-Mail, tenants would get greater rights to keep pets and make changes to rental properties to make them safer or more homely.

In what are the most extensive changes to residential tenancies laws in four decades, renters would be able to improve the safety of their home — such as by installing grab rails in bathrooms, furniture anchors, child safety gates and dead locks — without seeking permission from the owner.

Tenants would also be able to make changes that make the accommodation more inviting or energy efficient such as by hanging pictures or using water-saving taps — after seeking approval from the owner. In a dramatic boost to the rights of tenants, this permission would be granted automatically if the owner does not respid within seven days.

As part of the changes, it would also be more difficult for owners to refuse a pet, but renters would also be forced to pay a pet bond to cover costs of potential damage.

These measures, to be announced today, will be introduced in two phases, the first of which will deal with safety measures, accessibility and rights for renters to break a lease to escape domestic violence.

It's encouraging that these wide-ranging reforms will be introduced in phases. But we urge close analysis of the changes to guard against unintended consequences. It may be laudable to improve the rights for tenants, who make up more than one-third of all Queensland households, but if these changes are rushed or not thought through properly, they could end up harming both owners and renters.

The State Government already concedes that rents could rise by between $5 to $18 a week as a result of the changes. The new laws will also require better communication between real estate agents, landlords and tenants.

Allowing tenants to alter the property if they make a request and do not get a response within seven days seems to be a short notice period, particularly if the owner is away or the property manager fails to pass on the message promptly.

And while safety improvements seem reasonable, is it fair to allow tenants to alter a property without at least consulting the owner? Housing Minister Mick de Brenni says the changes will bring in minimum standards inspired by Lyn and Ken Diefenbach, who lobbied for changes after their granddaughter Bella died in an accident involving a rotten floorboard in a rented property.

Its clear that landlords should ensure their property is safe. Tenants have a right to feel secure and comfortable in the homes they pay to rent. But some of these proposals appear to go much further than improving safety and verge on aesthetic and lifestyle changes, which should only be allowed with great care. What one tenant thinks is a positive change to a property may not be what the owner thinks.

If these changes go too far, they could damage the value of owners' investments, push up rents and even harm property prices just as the housing market appears to be improving.

From the Brisbane "Courier Mail" of 16/11/2019


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


15 November, 2019

4 Feminist Lies That Are Making Women Miserable

Suzanne Venker

Twenty years ago, I wrote my first book about why women can’t “have it all,” or at least all at once, despite what the culture tells them. (Hint: It’s because no one, male or female, can perform two full-time jobs simultaneously without the bottom falling out.)

At the time, the so-called Mommy Wars were raging. Women everywhere who’d been sold a bill of goods by their feminist mothers and mentors were either lamenting the futility of being able to successfully work full-time outside the home while maintaining a healthy marriage and family life, or they were defending their choice to work full-time by insisting children do fine in round-the-clock substitute care.

Since then, the messages to women about how to have a happy life—as it relates to love and sex, work and family—have merely served to make women miserable. Not only are they unhappier than their mothers and grandmothers ever were, they’re significantly more stressed out; much more so than men.

None of this has done anything to help men and women find their way to one another. Dating in America is all but dead, and marriage is at an all-time low. While there’s more than one reason for this sad state of affairs, at the heart of it are the lies feminists have been telling for years. Here are four, in no particular order.

1. Women Don’t Need Men

It started with a seemingly comical phrase Gloria Steinem didn’t coin but repeatedly used during the height of the 1960s feminist movement: “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” It’s still alive and well today, whether it’s Jennifer Aniston talking about how women “don’t have to fiddle with a man to have that child” or Emma Watson talking about “self-partnering.” Over time, as women began to make their own money and take advantage of the newfound birth control pill, they came to believe that women don’t need men.

They were wrong. Biologically, women are wired to depend on men—regardless of much life has changed. Most women still want to be mothers, and when they do they become vulnerable. Even today, women know instinctively that they will ultimately need a man if they want to have a family and if they want the option of being home at all, if only for a period of time.

Indeed, research shows that what matters most to women—even to those who are economically independent—is knowing they have a man on whom they can rely. It’s the feeling of being safe and in good hands—yes, even financially—that matters most. That is what’s known as hypergamy, and it is alive and well in 2019.

2. Men and Women Are the Same, Or Gender Is a Social Construct

The precise moment in history when the relationship between the sexes took a nosedive is when women began to have sex like a man—casually, with no strings attached—under the guise that women are no different from men and are thus just as capable of having casual sex. Consider this ridiculous Bustle article asserting, based on a dubious study, that men and women are now equally likely to pursue a hookup if approached the right way.

From college campuses to our nation’s boardrooms, many women today have learned to pursue sex the way men often do: no commitment necessary. And they’re getting burned.

If there’s anything that proves this in spades, it’s the so-called campus rape crisis and the excesses of Me Too. For if it were true that women are “just like men” in their ability to disentangle sex and emotion, why would campus flings and office dalliances become a cause for the courts rather than a welcome ride?

It’s not just our sexuality that confirms the disparate natures of women and men. Parenting proves it in spades. Once a baby arrives, a woman’s nurturing gene almost always kicks in. Providing for her child emotionally is her first instinct, which is why going back to work so soon is heart-wrenching for mothers.

A father’s reaction is different: his first instinct is to support the family financially. It is not his sole contribution, but it’s first on his list. Simply put, that men and women may both be capable of performing identical tasks doesn’t mean they want to do them with equal fervor. Desire matters.

3. The Biological Clock Isn’t Real

The biological clock may be politically inconvenient, but that doesn’t make it any less real. The ideal age for a woman to get pregnant is 25, noted Gillian Lockwood, medical director at the Midland Fertility Clinic in the U.K., recently: “The bleak reality is that the chance of IVF working with your own eggs once you are 40 is absolutely abysmal…In what other branch of medicine would we let, yet alone encourage, patients to pay for an elective operation with a less than five percent chance of working?”

Because of this, it stands to reason that men can postpone marriage longer than women can. But we don’t tell women this. Instead, we pretend they can map out their lives with career at the center, as men do, as though they won’t hit a point in which their ability to conceive will invariably clash with a career. Articles abound with the goal to obscure the biological reality that it’s easier for women to have babies in their twenties and early thirties.

We lie to women, in other words, to further a political agenda. In doing so, feminists get what they want—for women to reject maternal desire and to instead produce in the marketplace—but women don’t.

Indeed, after decades of following the cultural script, women can often no longer find husbands. Or they can’t have babies. Or if they do get married and have babies, they can’t stay home with them because they mapped out a life that supported an entirely different goal.

4. A Career Is More Meaningful Than Marriage and Children

Of all the lies feminists tell, the idea that career success is more fulfilling than marriage and family is by far the greatest. It is almost impossible to convey the depth of this lie, for it too began in the 1960s, this time with Betty Friedan’s insistence that being a wife and mother is akin to being in a “comfortable concentration camp.” Since that time, American women have been walloped with a steady diet of words and images that drive Friedan’s argument home.

Humans are pack animals: we need to feel part of the group to feel good about ourselves. Some of us are content to stand apart from the crowd, but most are not. Ergo, cultural messages matter.

Women are surprised to discover that work isn’t nearly as satisfying as they were led to believe.
Since mothering is no longer revered or understood to be something a woman would want to do, let alone should do, women are surprised to discover how heart-wrenching it is to leave their babies and return to work. They’re surprised to discover that work isn’t nearly as satisfying as they were led to believe.

This same sense of unease is felt by single women who can’t find a man with whom to settle down. Careers aren’t fulfilling at all, it turns out, if you wind up in bed at night alone.

Too many women map out their lives with work at the center and eventually wish they hadn’t. Sadly, my inbox is loaded with emails from women who tell me they wished someone had told them this sooner.

So, here I am saying it as loudly as I can. Women have been lied to for years, and that’s why they’re so unhappy. There is only one solution. Flip your priorities—put love and family, not work, at the center—and you will win in the game of life. That’s what I did, and it made all the difference.


Twitter and Facebook try to get ahead of the next round of political speech

Living in the age of the Internet has many pretty cool upsides, such as having basically the entire accumulated knowledge of the world accessible via the handheld glass rectangles everyone stares at all day. But what to do when some of that information is demonstrably false, or worse, deliberately misleading? Fake news is hardly an Internet innovation but the incredible speed at which it can disseminate is, and now the debate rages about whether it’s proper for platforms to allow propaganda to propagate on their property.

With the 2020 elections coming up fast (did the election cycle ever really end?), the big online content platforms are feeling to burn to get ahead of the next round of accusations that they are facilitating electoral manipulation. On the one hand, this week Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged calls to police “fake news” and political advertising, but declined the idea of banning political ads altogether. On the other, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey came out just days later and promised to entirely ban paid political advertising on Twitter.

Mr. Dorsey’s sentiment certainly resonates, that “political message reach should be earned, not bought.” But whether he realizes it yet or not, Twitter’s new stance will inevitably open up another whole can of worms, because what, precisely, is a “political” message? Who defines what separates political speech from other issues that groups might run ads about?

In contrast, Mr. Zuckerberg and his sometimes-nemesis, Sen. Ted Cruz, are both seemingly in agreement about defending free speech online. You might guess it was Mr. Cruz who said that: “… political ads are an important part of voice — especially for local candidates, up-and-coming challengers and advocacy groups that may not get much media attention otherwise. Banning political ads favors incumbents and whoever the media covers.”

But in fact Mr. Zuckerberg said it just last month. Now, some may assume that his incentive is financial, as Facebook’s platform is far more conducive to effective political advertising and it’s a profitable activity for them to allow. But he’s also right on the principle — without the ability to boost their message in a crowded market, how is a start-up candidate or issue group supposed to get noticed?

At the same time, it’s easy to see the appeal (beyond just taking a shot at Facebook) for Mr. Dorsey to just throw his hands in the air and eliminate political advertising on his platform. Too many in the public and the media seem to have assumed that their fellow social media consumers are mindless pawns, helplessly controlled and manipulated by the dark, sinister forces of false online ads and memes. Disinformation, they say, must be policed aggressively for the sake of our democracy.

But responding to this demand puts social media platforms in a content-moderation paradox. Many of their customers are demanding that platforms try to weed out disinformation, however that’s defined. And yet, many of those same people get angry when that moderation seems biased in any way.

Subjective decisions must be made at every level about what constitutes “fake news” and every one of these decisions has the potential to introduce real or perceived bias to what content users are able to see in their feed. Is a given ad factually misleading, or is it reported as false merely because someone disagrees with its premise? Is it slanderous, or an inconvenient truth? Even a truly unbiased moderator (and I doubt such a person exists) would have difficulty answering those questions consistently in every circumstance. Algorithms, certainly, lack the nuance and context to fill that void.

As Mr. Zuckerberg appears to finally be learning, attempting to act as the arbiter of truth in political speech online is a not only a thankless task but probably a futile one. Whether Facebook or Twitter police their political content or not, politicians and users alike get angry and want to regulate them.

This is a dangerous trend, because forcing platforms to be “neutral” or placing legal guidelines on how they should police political speech would effectively let the government decide what truth is online. Nothing would be more dangerous to freedom of expression than that.

Jack Dorsey’s decision to involve Twitter in deciding whose ads are political and who are not will continue to generate that kind of blowback, and will mute the voices of many people and causes in the process. Ironically, this plays right into Facebook’s hands, as they can trumpet the fact that they are allowing a far greater degree of freedom of expression by letting the users decide whether political ads are worth listening to.

In any case, hopefully last week’s speech by Mr. Zuckerberg is the vision that wins out — one that trusts us to be our own best moderators rather than expecting either Silicon Valley or Washington, D.C., to do it all for us.


The fake news about US food standards

Remainer politicians are painting a wilfully misleading picture.

On Tuesday, the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, gave a speech warning of the dangers if the Conservatives are given a chance to move the UK to ‘a more deregulated American model of how to run the economy’. Alongside the usual nonsense about privatising the NHS, Corbyn claimed that food standards would plummet: ‘Given the chance, they’ll slash food standards to US levels where “acceptable levels” of rat hairs in paprika and maggots in orange juice are allowed and they’ll put chlorinated chicken on our supermarket shelves.’

This idea seems to have first come to the fore in an article for Business Insider back in September 2017. It was rehashed by the same publication in 2018 and reproduced in the UK Independent last year. The original article notes some examples: ‘For tomato juice, the FDA limits up to five fly eggs and one maggot per 100 grams, the equivalent of a small juice glass. Up to 15 fly eggs and one maggot per 100 grams is allowed for tomato paste and other pizza sauces. Mushrooms are granted more leeway – 20 maggots “of any size” per 100 grams of drained mushrooms or 15 grams of dried mushrooms.’

Just to add to the yuk factor, the article adds: ‘Americans on average most likely ingest one to two pounds of flies, maggots and mites each year without knowing it – a level the FDA says is safe. The agency established these guidelines in 1995 and has revised them several times.’ For comparison, the average American appears to eat just under 2,000 pounds of food per year. In relative terms, such bug consumption is trivial. Remember, these are natural products grown in soil and surrounded by a variety of bugs. Short of cooking or sterilisation, it would be impossible to get rid of these bugs and adulterations entirely, though we obviously expect food processors to do their level best to do so.

Underpinning these claims from Labour and others is the idea that the US is some kind of Wild West where anything goes. The suggestion is that any attempt to regulate food production is slapped down by corporate interests determined to sell any old adulterated crap to dimwitted Americans. But anyone who has ever eaten in America will know that US food standards are just as considered and serious as those in Europe. Of course, there are differences of regulations – like on that aforementioned ‘chlorinated’ chicken – but that doesn’t mean that these standards are deliberately or universally lower than those in the EU.

These claims about food adulteration are seriously misleading. They are based on a half-cocked reading of the rules on adulteration from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) document ‘Food Defect Levels Handbook’. The handbook opens with the statement that the FDA is empowered ‘to establish maximum levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods for human use that present no health hazard. These “Food Defect Action Levels” listed in this booklet are set on this premise – that they pose no inherent hazard to health.’

These ‘action levels’ should not be read as some kind of permission to adulterate food or to allow carelessness in production. The introduction continues by noting: ‘Poor manufacturing practices may result in enforcement action without regard to the action level.’ So why have such levels at all? As the handbook points out: ‘The FDA set these action levels because it is economically impractical to grow, harvest or process raw products that are totally free of non-hazardous, naturally occurring, unavoidable defects. Products harmful to consumers are subject to regulatory action whether or not they exceed the action levels.’

In other words, if there are adulterations in foods that are clearly hazardous, these will be actionable. If there are non-hazardous adulterations, these may be actionable at any level, but are certainly actionable above the levels listed in the handbook. These are ‘definitely no excuses’ levels. They are certainly not ‘average’ levels. Moreover, these ‘action levels’ are explicit and transparent. The EU does not appear to set such levels at all.

But never mind the details, this is an opportunity to bash America, the Tories and Brexit in one go. So Caroline Lucas, Green MP and leading light of the ‘People’s Vote’ campaign, is quoted in that 2018 Independent article: ‘This is the gruesome reality of the US trade deal being touted by Liam Fox as one of the great benefits of leaving the EU. Under the government’s disastrous Brexit, we will finally be free to eat all the maggot-ridden food we like. No one voted for a Brexit that waters down the safety and hygiene of our food – but that’s what the government is pursuing. The US actively dislikes many existing EU measures.’

Anyone who has ever eaten in the US will know the food is, by all reasonable standards, safe to eat – as well as cheap and delivered in enormous portions. Outbreaks of food-borne illnesses are swiftly investigated and dealt with, just as in Europe. The US is a rich country, it should hardly be a shock that it has high food standards. Not only does that mean direct regulation from government, but America is famously the most litigious nation on Earth, with eye-watering damages imposed on companies found to have allowed standards to slip. Food manufacturers have enormous incentives to do things properly.

Oh, and let us just consider the irony of all this nonsense coming from eco-warriors like Lucas and Corbyn, who would be the first in the queue to tell us we should be eating insects instead of chicken and beef. Yet when we have the tiniest consumption of insects quite naturally, it’s a sign that the neoliberals would feed us filth. What do they think happens on those ‘pick your own fruit’ farms? Can they be sure what they pick will be bug-free? Of course not.

Bending the truth in the name of bashing America and Brexit is appalling. This is fake news, pure and simple, delivered by the kind of people who rail against media lies and spin the rest of the time. Let’s welcome American food to the UK. If it cuts prices, it will help precisely the kind of people – ‘the many’ – that Labour claims to serve.


Ohio House Votes to End Religious Discrimination in Public Schools

The Ohio House of Representatives has just passed the CCV-backed Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act (HB 164). Sponsored by Rep. Tim Ginter, this bill ensures that Ohio Christian students and students of all faiths in public schools cannot be discriminated against for the free exercise of their faith.

“Children should feel safe to freely express their Christian beliefs in public schools,” said Aaron Baer, president of Citizens for Community Values. “The Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act ensures all students are not discriminated against in public schools for merely living out their faith.”

“Speaker of the House Larry Householder is continuing to show his strong leadership and care for Ohio’s children and religious freedom. HB 164 comes at a critical time in the culture and protects the right of Christian and non-Christian students alike to freely exercise their faith.”

The bill passed with a 61-31 vote, with 7 absent votes.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


14 November, 2019

The virtue of Christian humility
Shortly after Jim Bakker’s release from prison in July 1994, I invited the disgraced TV evangelist to my home. There was an important question I wanted to ask him.

Some background: Bakker and his “Praise the Lord” (PTL) associates sold $1,000 “lifetime memberships” to people who were promised annual three-night stays at his Heritage USA luxury hotel complex in Fort Mill, South Carolina. According to what prosecutors revealed at his trial on fraud charges, Bakker sold tens of thousands of these memberships for a hotel that had only 500 rooms planned and was never completed. It was alleged Bakker kept $3.4 million of the money for himself and the rest paid for Heritage USA’s operating expenses.

“When did you start to go wrong?” I asked Bakker. His answer was instructive: “When I began to surround myself with people who told me only what I wanted to hear.”

I thought of that statement when I read a comment by former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who told a gathering in Sea Island, Georgia, sponsored by The Washington Examiner, what he had said to President Trump before leaving his position: “I said whatever you do, don’t hire a ‘yes man,’ someone who won’t tell you the truth – don’t do that, because if you do, I believe you will be impeached.”

The latest White House Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham, sounded like a “yes-woman” when she responded to Kelly: “I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great president.”

The key to great leadership is to not overly regard yourself, to understand you don’t know everything, realize that, like everyone else, you are flawed and can make bad judgments, and to surround yourself with people who think well enough of you to tell you the truth from their perspective, even when it disagrees with yours. As long as the objective is to help you succeed with your agenda, such advice can be valuable and even humbling, humility being one of humanity’s better characteristics and a grace that appears in short supply in Washington.

Another story along these lines was told to me by one of the late Billy Graham’s associates. After a particularly successful evening during which thousands came forward in response to an invitation to receive Christ as Savior, Graham and his team went back to their hotel room. The aide said he told Graham, “You’re not as great as they think you are.” He said Graham responded, “Don’t I know it.”

Some of those evangelical “advisers” to President Trump might consider a verse with which they must be familiar. It is from Proverbs 15:22: “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”

Israel’s King Solomon is said to have written that and most of the Proverbs, which are as good a guidebook for living (and leading) as has ever been written, even for non-believers.

Generals require committed privates in order to achieve success in warfare. Presidents need the same, along with staff who don’t always tell them what they want to hear, but sometimes what they need to hear.


'LGBTQ' Activists Seek to Legalize Child Abuse
Somebody’s got to tell the dreadful truth: LGBTQ radicals and their allies want to legalize child abuse.

Of course, not all LGBTQ adults seek to victimize children, but their silence when it happens makes them complicit.

Children have long been treated like animals in lab experiments by perverted adults. Remember the crazed “sexologist” Alfred Kinsey? He was the child predator whose documentation of the sexual abuse of children, mostly boys, was used to further the homosexual agenda in the 1940s and ‘50s. Literally thousands of children, including babies, were sexually abused for hours by Kinsey in order to see if they would reach orgasm.

Instead of being locked up as a child abuser, Kinsey was held up by “free love” activists as a hero. You can learn more about how this child predator spawned the growing movement to legalize child abuse at www.drjudithreisman.com.

Today, the psychological abuse of children is becoming commonplace in the classroom. Graphic sex ed and even story time often focus on sexual identity and activity.

In addition to books about trucks or fairy tales, teachers and “drag queens” now read also about vulvas, clitorises, and penises, confusing otherwise happy and carefree children about their identities and introducing heavy subjects that kindergartners shouldn’t have to worry about.

One of the most popular books, I Am Jazz, is based on the real-life account of a toddler boy who insisted that he was really a girl. The book description says: “From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body.”

You know a culture is in serious trouble when adults believe that two-year-olds have the ability to make such life-altering decisions.

As if the psychological abuse in schools and the media propaganda weren’t enough, the courts also are being used to bludgeon parents who seek to protect their children: A Texas jury recently decided that the mother of a seven-year-old boy can abuse her son by forcing him to take drugs that will medically castrate him. Does this mean she also will have the “right” to cut off his penis when she feels like it?

Court testimony reveals that the mother dresses him like a girl, insists he call himself a girl, and has terrorized the child by locking him in his room and shouting through the door that monsters eat only boys. Yet a jury granted the mother full custody. The real question is: Why isn’t this woman in jail?

Thankfully, just a few days ago a judge intervened and said that the father — who is trying to protect his son from the abuse — will have input in the decisions about the boy’s medical care. Alarmingly, however, the judge issued a gag rule on the father, which means that the fate of the young boy will now be shrouded in silence. Except for the public outcry in support of the father when he initially spoke out about the abuse, it seems that the judge would not have intervened at all. If the court ultimately determines that the abuse is allowed to be continued as the case proceeds, it will happen in the darkness, where evil lives to hide.

Nightmare accounts of adults manipulating children and physically abusing them with drugs to halt their sexual development are popping up across the nation. In Ohio, parents lost custody of their daughter when they refused to administer hormones so she could “transition” to a boy.

The American Principles Project (AmericanPrinciplesProject.org) reveals how homosexual activists lecture at medical conferences in an attempt to promote their radical agenda through family doctors throughout the country.

Thankfully, parents in both political parties are starting to fight back. Protecting children isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue; it’s a human-rights issue. The American Principles Project and other nonpartisan groups are now calling for legislation to protect children from the child abuse of gender reassignment.

Perhaps one of the most powerful voices for protecting children and helping adults who suffer from gender dysphoria is Walt Heyer of www.sexchangeregret.com. Mr. Heyer was abused as a child and regrets the “transition” that he was cajoled into.

 "So many people who change genders realize later that abuse in their lives contributed to their gender distress feelings,“ he says. "Changing genders is not the proper treatment for overcoming childhood trauma or abuse. Find someone who will address the underlying source of your distress without prescribing hormones or surgery. Avoid those who are 'transgender cheerleaders’ and advocate for transition.”

As our culture increasingly subjects innocent children to the twisted ideology of damaged adults desperate to validate their own disorders, America is quickly becoming a nation that promotes and propagates rampant child abuse.

Adults who suffered abuse as children need help and healing. We do them a grave disservice when we don’t love them enough to encourage them to seek counseling to overcome their pain. Allowing them to propagate their pain by harming children is just plain evil.

God calls us to stand up for the hurting and the powerless, especially children — even though we will be persecuted. May He give us the courage to fight and the wisdom to speak the truth in love.


Inside the Mainstream Media's Sexual Predator Protection Racket

The mainstream media (news and entertainment) in this country have spent the past three years caterwauling about President Trump's treatment of them. They bristle at the merest suggestion that they have been derelict in their duty.

In their telling of the story, they are brave souls, the lone purveyors of truth, and the only things standing between ORANGE MAN BAD and the utter demise of the Republic.

In reality, it turns out that they're just a bunch of depraved sexual predator and pervert protectors.

The revelation that ABC News sat on the sordid Jeffrey Epstein story is shocking enough on its own, but it's merely the latest in distressing tale of Big Three Network entertainment and news divisions running interference for predators.

Amy Robach's backtracking, cover her you-know-what statement recycled the same "didn't meet our standards" nonsense that NBC used to excuse themselves for burying Ronan Farrow's reporting on Harvey Weinstein.

In the latter case, it was Weinstein himself who was powerful and making everyone nervous.

Epstein, on the other hand, had powerful connections who -- based on Robach's statement -- continue to strike fear in the hearts of the brave journalists of America.

NBC's claim was laughable, and it's still dogging them two years later. In fact, just as Project Veritas was releasing the Robach bombshell, The Washington Post published an article excoriating NBC for not having dealt with its original failure with Farrow's reporting.

Robach's frustration in the Project Veritas video isn't with the "standards," so that dog isn't going to hunt for very long. Nobody is even using the lame "doctored video" excuse this time around.

Although ABC and NBC are in the news right now, CBS isn't off the hook due to its Les Moonves saga, obviously.

News and entertainment divisions at the Big Three Networks have been blurred by leftists for so long that there is very little chance that rumors from one aren't known by the other. I was only on the periphery of the television industry when I was in Los Angeles and I heard whispers about Moonves years ago.

One incident is horrible. Two indicate the potential presence of a pattern. What we've seen in the last couple of years is a culture. A culture that existed because leftists protect their own no matter what. The Me Too cascade only happened because Weinstein was kind of a monster.

A most important point has been made by many in the past 24 hours. These news organizations whose "standards" prevented them from outing a serial sexual predator and a pedophile had no problem with airing every unsubstantiated bit of hearsay about Brett Kavanaugh in an attempt to ruin his career and life.

So, cool story about the standards, bro, but nobody sane is buying it.


High Court rules in favour of Cardinal Pell on final appeal

This is already evidence that the case is an unusual one.  A conviction based on one uncorroborated allegation is very rare for a start

Australia’s final arbiter has granted disgraced cardinal George Pell special leave to appeal his five convictions for molesting two choirboys in Melbourne in 1996, and almost immediately the public defence of the 78-year-old has ramped up.

The High Court of Australia this morning ruled that it would hear Pell’s appeal after it was earlier rejected by the Victorian Court of Appeal. It is rare for the High Court to grant an appeal and the decision keeps Pell’s chances for an early release from prison alive. He has been in prison since March this year.

He is within his rights to apply for bail, but the chances of bail being granted are very slim.

Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt wasted no time in taking aim at Pell’s accusers and the judges who put him away and kept him there. He directly questioned the credibility of the two judges of the Court of Appeal — president Chris Maxwell and Chief Justice Anne Ferguson — who ruled against Pell in August. “Their credibility is now on the line,” he wrote, before taking aim at Pell’s accusers.

“At the very least, the improbability (of the crime being committed the way Pell’s accusers said it was committed) is so very high that no-one should convict a man on that evidence just because his accuser seemed to be so nice or honest.”

Bolt wrote that the third judge, Mark Weinberg, “seemed to accuse his fellow judges of putting too much faith in the demeanour of Pell’s sole accuser”.

The most senior Catholic to be found guilty of child sex abuse crimes was not in the Canberra courtroom when the decision was handed down, nor did he appear via video link.

Instead, the news was relayed to him inside his cell at Melbourne Assessment Prison where he spends his days in protective custody.

A unanimous Victorian County Court jury in December found Pope Francis’ former finance minister guilty of molesting two 13-year-old choirboys in Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the late 1990s shortly after Pell became archbishop of Australia’s second-largest city.

Pell’s lawyers argued in their 12-page application for a High Court appeal that two state appeals court judges made two errors in dismissing his appeal in August.

The judges made a mistake by requiring Pell to prove the offending was impossible rather than putting the onus of proof on prosecutors, the lawyers said.

They also said the two judges made a mistake in finding the jury’s guilty verdicts were reasonable. Pell’s lawyers argued there was reasonable doubt about whether opportunity existed for the crimes to have occurred.

Pell’s lawyers also argue that changes in law over the years since the crimes were alleged have increased the difficulty in testing sexual assault allegations.

They argue Pell should be acquitted of all charges for several reasons, including inconsistencies in the complainant’s version of events. But prosecutors argue there is no basis for the appeal, and the Victorian courts made no errors.

In their written submission to the High Court, prosecutors wrote Pell’s legal team was asking High Court judges to apply established principles to the facts of the case, which were already carefully and thoroughly explored by the state appeals court.

Pell was largely convicted on the testimony of one victim. The second victim died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2014 when he was 31 years old without complaining that he had been abused.

The surviving victim said after Pell lost his appeal in August, “I just hope that it’s all over now.”

Pell must serve at least three years and eight months behind bars before he becomes eligible for parole.

As a convicted paedophile, he is provided with extra protection from other inmates and spends 23 hours a day in solitary confinement.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


13 November, 2019

Remembrance Sunday is now 'a crazy religious ritual dominated by poppy fascism', says David Starkey

Starkey is an amusing commentator.  He says things that tend to offend both the Left and the Right.  But because he is queer, both sides tend to let him off without criticism.

Today's blast is vintage Starkey. He actually says below a lot of things that many conservatives would like to hear said more often.  He is very good on political correctness and Greta Thunberg.

As far as his criticism of armistice day customs is concerned, perhaps he is right that some people act out of mere formality rather than anything heartfelt.  But he, as an historian, must know what horrors armistice day ended and no feeling person could remain unaffected by that knowledge. Very many of us lost family members in that and other wars

And members or former members of the armed forces are particularly aware of the horrors of war. Many returned men from both world wars never spoke of their wartime experiences out of aversion even to think of what they underwent.

My time in the armed forces was maximally undistinguished (though I did reach the rank of Sergeant) but no time in the armed forces leaves you unaffected and it is with a whole heart that I mark armistice day very year.  I don't ever do much but I did this year wear a poppy badge before and during the day and did make a small donation to an ex-diggers' organization. "Digger" is an honorific word for a soldier in Australia.

Note that Starkey (on the Right below) IS wearing a poppy badge.


Remembrance Sunday has become a "crazy religious ritual" which wrongly turns soldiers into either "victims or heroes", television historian David Starkey has said.

Speaking to Chopper's Election Podcast, Mr Starkey attacked what he described as "poppy fascism" which requires people to demonstrate that they are remembering Britain's war dead.

He said that acts of remembrance had "become a crazy religious ritual. It's become abstracted from reality. There is what we call poppy fascism, we're both suffering from it. The absolute requirement to do it".

He said: "It's also associated again with something else: we’re turning soldiers into either victims or heroes, and the two sort of uneasily shift around each other. They’re neither.

"Say if you have mass war and conscription, today's soldiers are volunteers. They are doing it usually because they like it, and they get tremendously excited about it. And many of them just enjoy killing and that’s very useful."

Mr Starkey, a constitutional expert, also took aim at today's politicians saying that many were not good enough to run the country and said MPs should no longer be paid to stop them getting "above their station" and defying the Government over Brexit.

He attacked the Left for using offence at inadvertent racist comments to shut down online debate like "the Grand Inquisitor" and said adults were "fools" for taking seriously the environmental warnings from the Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg.

Mr Starkey said it was "frankly mad" that politicians like former Environment secretary Michael Gove prostrated themselves before Miss Thunberg when she warned about threats to the environment.

He said: "The Middle Ages is filled with child saints and intelligent adult people like Michael Gove, prostrating themselves before them ... God speaks through the mouths of babes and sucklings ... and it is frankly mad."

Adults were "fools for treating her seriously. But you see, it also goes along with the sentimentality, it goes along with Diana-fication, it goes along with putting little teddy bears on war memorials. But again, you see, this is also mediaeval: offering up gifts at the shrine."

Mr Starkey said he despaired of modern politicians and pointed to "the 'on the whole' very poor quality of people standing for parliament. "It means that our executive, the Cabinet is generally speaking, spectacularly weak at administrative and intellectual skills - look [at] both front benches frankly.

"The Labour frontbench is indescribable. I mean, the idea of [Liberal Democrat leader] Jo Swinson as Prime Minister for Heaven's sake, you could imagine her running a rather preachy primary school."

Mr Starkey attacked Remain-supporting MPs for obstructing the work of the Government in the last Parliament, saying that they "stand on a party manifesto and they are not elected as individuals".

He said: "You cannot have an MP parading 'I am a free thinking representative and have democracy'. I'm sorry. It doesn't work like that... "They are the rules of Parliament itself, that give the Government with a clear parliamentary majority control over the parliamentary agenda.

"They've got above their station, and I blame paying MPs. I absolutely blame paying MPs, because this gives them the notion they've got a job. MPs don’t have a job.

"The backbench MP is the stooge. Traditionally you were in the Bar, you were employed in business, you were a trade union activist or whatever. And you turned up and you voted as your party tells them to." Mr Starkey warned Tory leader Boris Johnson against trying to modernise his party. He said: "The whole preposterous notion of Tory modernisation was to make the Tory party the party of preference for readers of The Guardian.

"This is an idea so stupid that I'm afraid you have to use a very strong word and say it is ----ing stupid. And it doesn't work, and also it's unhistorical."

Mr Starkey said it was  "by no means clear that Brexit will happen. So I'm afraid history may well record this as, a triumphant beginning, an abortion, an accident. We don't know, until it's done".

Mr Starkey was scornful of Theresa May, the former prime minister, describing her as being "like a dose of ice cold water poured over enthusiasm, she is a kind of permanent vacuum - an utter emptiness".

Mr Starkey also criticised the Left for using "racism" as "the absolute test of moral failure". He said: "Racism now becomes the equivalent of original sin, and also the way that the Left pursues language. It behaves, you know, like a Grand Inquisitor.  "

"If you use minutely the wrong word you are burned alive on Twitter. And that is a form of religious passion."


Jeremy Corbyn sparked fury today after complaining that a leftist South American leader who quit after winning a disputed election had been ousted by a 'military coup'.

The Fascist Left is clearly where Corbyn belongs.  Too bad what the people think

The Labour leader joined the presidents of Venezuela, Cuba and Mexico in backing Bolivian leader Evo Morales despite him calling time on his 14-year reign.

Mr Morales said yesterday he would resign after the military called on him to step down and allies deserted him following weeks of protests over accusations of election rigging.

His decision prompted Mr Corbyn to tweet: 'To see @evoespueblo who, along with a powerful movement, has brought so much social progress forced from office by the military is appalling. 'I condemn this coup against the Bolivian people and stand with them for democracy, social justice and independence.'

His comments were criticised by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who branded them 'unbelievable. 'The Organisation of American States refused to certify the Bolivian election because of systemic flaws,' Mr Raab said.

'The people are protesting and striking on an unprecedented scale. But Jeremy Corbyn puts Marxist solidarity ahead of democracy.'

In a televised address Mr Morales he said he would submit his resignation letter to help restore stability, though he aimed barbs at what he called a 'civic coup.'

'I am resigning, sending my letter of resignation to the Legislative Assembly,' Morales said, adding that it was his 'obligation as indigenous president and president of all Bolivians to seek peace.'

The departure of Morales, a leftist icon and the last survivor of Latin America's 'pink tide' of two decades ago, is likely to send shockwaves across the region at a time when left-leaning leaders have returned to power in Mexico and Argentina.

Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose socialist predecessor Hugo Chavez served as a sometime mentor to Morales, told allies to mobilize in support of Morales.

'We have to take care of our brother Evo Morales,' Maduro said in a recording broadcast on Venezuelan state television. 'We must declare a vigil in solidarity to protect him.'

But Morales' resignation could unnerve the Venezuelan leader, who has clung to power this year despite an opposition campaign to convince the armed forces to rebel.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, another longtime Morales ally, tweeted his 'solidarity' and said: 'The world must be mobilized for the life and freedom of Evo.'

Marcelo Ebrard, the Mexican foreign minister, said today that the Bolivian military's call for Morales to resign had violated 'the constitutional order' in Bolivia.

The Mexican foreign minister indicated that Morales, who resigned Sunday, would be welcome to seek asylum in Mexico.

'What happened yesterday is a step back for the whole continent,' Ebrard said. 'We're very worried.'

Some of Morales' leftist allies in Latin America decried the turn of events as a 'coup,' including Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Argentine President-elect Alberto Fernandez.

Bolivia under Morales had one of the region's strongest economic growth rates and its poverty rate was cut in half, though his determination to cling to power and seek a fourth term alienated many allies, even among indigenous communities.

Pressure had been ramping up on Morales since he was declared the winner of an October 20 election.

General Williams Kaliman, the head of Bolivia's armed forces, earlier on Sunday said the military had asked Morales to step down to help restore peace and stability after weeks of protests over the vote.

Kaliman added that the military was calling on the Bolivian people to refrain from violence and disorder.


Woman who was raped by Somali migrant tells of her anguish that he is STILL in the UK a year after his deportation was blocked by ignorant do-gooders

The victim of rapist Yaqub Ahmed last night spoke of her anger and pain that he has still not been kicked out of Britain more than a year after plane passengers blocked his removal.

Ahmed's botched deportation in 2018 revived horrific memories of her rape 12 years ago when she was just a teenager, and led to a collapse in her mental health.

Her anguish has continued as Ahmed has launched a fresh legal challenge to avoid being deported to Somalia. 'This can't be allowed to go on,' she told The Mail on Sunday.

'I am struggling to move on. I was in such a good place last year. I was working, I was studying. And then this [the failed deportation] happened and my life has not been the same again. All I want to do is just get on with my life and not constantly worry about this. The time I've spent sat up at night crying my eyes out – it's exhausting and draining.'

The 28-year-old mother is worried that treatment for her mental health problems 'is not going to be effective until all of this comes to a close'.

She was only 16 when, after enjoying a night out in London's Leicester Square, she was lured to a flat in North London and raped.

Ahmed and two other men were convicted of planning and carrying out the rape and were each jailed for nine years. A fourth man was sentenced to eight years in prison for conspiracy to rape.

Voicing her disgust at Ahmed's pleas of innocence at last week's bail hearing, she said: 'Does he not understand they have got DNA evidence? How could they get DNA evidence if he didn't do it? He can't sit there in the face of everything and say that it didn't happen. I find it ridiculous that he still is not able to admit it.'

She believes his court outburst provides an insight into his true character. 'He is out of control still. Imagine what he was like behind closed doors,' she said. 'This is a tantrum because he knows he is close to getting deported and things aren't going his way. He is clutching at straws.'


Bill Gates joins fight for vaccinations after witnessing horror measles inflicts on young and writes article arguing anti-vaxx scare is harming our children

The billionaire Microsoft founder says people have forgotten the death and devastation wreaked by diseases such as measles, polio and pneumonia.

Writing in today's Mail, he describes the heart-wrenching experience of watching a child become severely ill as their body is ravaged by measles.

He refers to the 'tragic irony' that vaccination rates have soared in developing countries while plummeting in wealthy nations.

'I can't imagine seeing us win that fight in one part of the world, only to see us start losing it in another,' he adds.

The Mail launched its Give Children Their Jabs campaign last month after a Government report revealed uptake had fallen for all ten routine childhood vaccinations.

Health officials are particularly worried about MMR vaccination rates, which have slipped to their lowest level for seven years.

Mr Gates said: 'Like others involved in the Mail's campaign, I am concerned about the decline in Britain's immunisation rates.'

The 64-year-old has spent years championing the importance of vaccinations through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is devoted to improving health in developing countries.

Mr Gates, the second-richest person in the world with a net worth of around £83billion, has donated billions of pounds to Gavi – an organisation which buys vaccines for children in poor countries.

He is the latest influential health leader to back the Daily Mail's campaign to vaccinate every child.

Others include Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Simon Stevens, head of NHS England.

The Mail is calling on the Government to launch a mass awareness drive to reassure parents that jabs are both safe and essential. We also want the NHS to introduce reminders via text message to alert busy families of upcoming vaccinations.

Figures from NHS Digital show that only 86 per cent of five-year-olds received both doses of the MMR jab in 2018/19.

This is well below the World Health Organisation's target of 95 per cent coverage that is needed to preserve herd immunity.

Six children are admitted to hospital with pneumonia every hour amid soaring rates of the vaccine-preventable disease, NHS figures show.

Emergency admissions have risen more than 50 per cent over the past decade, with 56,000 children taken to hospital with the condition last year.

NHS Digital data shows uptake rates for the pneumonia vaccine have plummeted. Last year 92.8 per cent of children received jabs, down from 94.4 per cent in 2012/13.

Analysis from Save the Children and Unicef revealed that 27 children in England were killed by the disease last year.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


12 November, 2019

Boris Johnson will end 'unfair' trials of Northern Ireland veterans: PM will change law to protect soldiers from prosecution over Troubles

Boris Johnson last night vowed to change the law to protect Northern Ireland veterans.

On the eve of Armistice Day, he unveiled a plan to end a legal 'witch-hunt' against our former soldiers and told them: 'We will always support you.'

The Prime Minister wants to amend the Human Rights Act so that it does not apply to any incidents before it came into force in October 2000.

It would end the obligation on the authorities to investigate veterans, many now in their 60s, who served during the Troubles.

Ben Wallace said the 'Armed Forces have been subject to rulings by British courts which have led to the law being weaponised against our Armed Forces.' He said it was 'illogical to apply improper extensions of human rights law' when the law of armed conflict already applies to military operations.

Mr Wallace said the Tories would 'end the unfair trials of people who served their country when no new evidence has been produced and when the accusations have already been exhaustively questioned in court' it added.

Ahead of a trip to the Black Country today, Mr Johnson said: 'If I'm elected on the 12th December, I want the message from my Government to our Armed Forces to be louder and clearer than ever: we salute you and we will always support you.'

Today's announcement is a huge victory for ex-soldiers who have faced years of uncertainty.

Veterans minister Johnny Mercer said: 'The Armed Forces has always ensured that those who break the law will be held to account – our ability to do this sets us apart from those we do battle with. There has never been a hiding place in uniform for those who cannot operate within the professional boundaries.

'But war and conflict is changing, and so-called 'lawfare' is now a part of that. We must protect our service personnel accordingly.

'With a Conservative majority government, the Law of Armed Conflict will be the appropriate and specific choice for military operations.'

Mr Mercer, a former Army captain, added: 'The Human Rights Act will be amended to specify that it doesn't apply to issues – including any death in the Northern Ireland Troubles – that took place before the Act came into force in October 2000. This will restore the intended scope of the Act.'

The Mail has highlighted how veterans have faced repeated investigations over alleged incidents many decades earlier. And David Petraeus, a former US general, yesterday issued an extraordinary condemnation of the legal 'witch-hunt'.

His comments came in a foreword to a report by the Policy Exchange think-tank published that calls on the Government to amend the Human Rights Act.

The Act gives effect to the principles set out in the European Convention on Human Rights, such as the prohibition of torture and the right to a fair trial.

It is understood that under the proposed shake-up, the Government would not be obliged to force veterans to give evidence to inquests in Northern Ireland.

Former soldiers have been before as many as 70 inquests – an experience Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said they found 'frightening'.

The change would also aim to limit the number of criminal cases troops face, although details on this are unclear. It is understood the Tories are planning to bring in further reforms to ensure criminal cases are stamped out.

They have also unveiled proposals for a tax cut for businesses by scrapping their national insurance contributions for a year for each veteran they take on.

The party has pledged to provide 'wraparound' childcare for military families, including breakfast clubs and after-school clubs. This would cover early starts and late finishes for working parents of children aged four to 11 in an attempt to persuade women to stay in uniform.

Veterans will also be guaranteed a job interview for any public sector role they apply for in a move to overcome obstacles to employment. Mr Johnson said: 'These measures will mean more childcare support for those who are currently serving.

'And it will mean that we harness the enormous contribution that veterans can make to our businesses and public sector organisations.'

Mr Wallace added: 'In the days of advanced technology and automation it is easy to forget that the most important equipment in the Armed Forces are the men and women serving. This policy demonstrates our commitment to them and is a recognition of the pressures they face.'


The return of class hatred

One of the most striking things about the Brexit era has been the explosion in elitism. The euphemisms and nods-and-winks with which the political elite and chattering classes once expressed their contempt for the lower orders have fallen away, and in their wake we have open statements of disdain for the vulgar throng, especially the brutish multitude that voted for Brexit.

To see how thoroughly the old English disease of class hatred has been resuscitated, look no further than Matthew Parris’s much-praised Times column on why he is leaving the Tories.

Mr Parris has been Brexitphobic for a long time. And now he has decided to leave the party he has been a member of for 50 years and to vote for the Lib Dems instead. He wrote about this in The Times at the end of last week and his column elicited squeals of delight in Remainer circles. Listening to the effusive praise, you’d be forgiven for thinking he had made his way across Checkpoint Charlie from the deprivations of the GDR into the arms of the free West, when all he’s done is abandon one drab party for another drab party. I mean, these parties were in coalition a few years ago; it’s hardly a daring ideological leap.

But it is worth looking more closely at this column that has won so much favour from Remoaners. Parris’s piece contains the following line: politicians, it says, ‘are not there to lick the boots of the mob’. Brexit is a ‘foolish populist wave’, and Parris is mostly upset with the Tories because they are a ‘cork bobbing on [this] popular wave’. Whatever happened to our ‘healthy suspicion of the crowd’, he laments?

This is what the chattering classes are praising. This vile snobbery. This 19th-century-style fear of the mob, the crowd, and of their foolish beliefs and ideas. This neo-aristocratic desire for an era when politicians were suspicious of the throng rather than sympathetic to it.

Simon Nixon, The Times’ chief leader writer, captures well the media-elite love for Parris’s piece when he says it ‘expresses what so many decent people are thinking’. Really? None of the decent people I know thinks like this. None of the decent people I know would use foul neo-Victorian phrases like ‘licking the boots of the mob’ to describe what is in truth a simple act of democracy. In fact, the decent people I know tend to be horrified by this new fashion for reducing voters to a crowd who are best ignored rather than ‘licked’.

In a sense, though, Nixon is right: those sections of society who conceive of themselves as decent, certainly more decent than the oiks who voted for Brexit, do increasingly think like this. And they are now open about it. This weekend, the Observer’s Nick Cohen outdid Parris in the contempt-for-the-mob stakes. He raged against the old and the uneducated and the mess they have made of this country with their ignorant vote for Brexit. Like a poundshop Nietzsche he rails against ‘the willingness of voters to be lied to’. Brexit voters are like ‘children’, he says, ‘easy to lead and to fool’.

Unleashing his inner classist, his inner patrician, Cohen says ‘the divide in Brexit Britain is not based on class but on age and education’. He points out that ‘70 per cent of voters whose educational achievement was only GCSE or lower’ voted for Brexit. Perhaps we should introduce literacy tests, like they had in the racist American South: that should weed out the uneducated undesirables. ‘Some ideas are so stupid that only the uneducated can believe them’, says Cohen. And, of course, one of those ideas is Brexit. He says there’s a reason conmen ‘prey’ on the uneducated and the elderly – because, unlike him and his Oxbridge-educated chums, these people are easy to ‘fleece’.

So many words. I bet these people miss the days before political correctness when one word would have been enough to communicate their feelings about the poor, the uneducated and the old: scum.

This classism and ageism is not restricted to out-of-touch columnists, of course. It now infuses many middle-class people’s thinking. The hatred for the old is especially visceral. Last week a poll found that 47 per cent of Brits aged between 16 and 34 believe that old people should be prevented from voting on big issues like Brexit or Scottish independence. There’s a website tracking how many old Brexit voters have died since 2016. Ian McEwan has joked about the death of the elderly idiots who voted Leave. This borderline eugenicist hatred for the elderly is one of the most poisonous sentiments in Brexit Britain.

There is class hatred, too. Attend a People’s Vote march and you will see the well-educated middle classes boasting about how the slogans on their placards are at least spelt correctly. ‘The masses didn’t know what they were voting for’ is the most common refrain of the reactionary Remainer lobby. This loathing for the mob and the crowd, as Parris calls us, has been openly stated over the past three years.

Witness the Foreign Policy headline that said, ‘It’s time for the elites to rise up against the ignorant masses’. Or see Labour MP David Lammy mocking the ‘wisdom’ – his scare quotes – ‘of resentment and prejudice reminiscent of 1930s Europe’. Looking upon the masses as latent Nazis is the new, more PC version of calling them white trash. From the left, behold Corbynista Paul Mason venomously attacking the image of ‘the ex-miner sitting in the corner of the pub calling migrants cockroaches’. Never underestimate how much these people despise the working classes.

This fear of the crowd is influencing the General Election, too. MPs say they are scared of campaigning in December, when it will be dark. They fret over the ‘toxic’ language being used by everyday Brexiteers on the internet. (They rarely fret over the toxic language used by their own side, who can mock the old, the uneducated and ‘the mob’ with impunity.) ‘MPs fear that knocking on doors alone is unsafe in “toxic atmosphere”’, said an Evening Standard headline. This cuts to the heart of what the debate on ‘toxic’ politics is really about – they view the people themselves, ordinary voters, as ‘toxic’, as an unpredictable mob liable to insult and attack ‘decent’ politicians and Remainers.

A shift has occurred in Britain over the past three years. What had become unsayable is sayable once again. The elite’s fear and loathing of the crowd never really went away, but now it is stated openly in a way that it hasn’t been since the early 20th century. These people have been so stung and disorientated by the vote for Brexit that they have lost all sense of moral and linguistic restraint and now say in public what they would once have only said in private: that the uneducated masses and the unenlightened elderly are corrupting society with their idiocy and their brutishness.

We should be grateful for this honestly stated hatred. It clarifies what is at stake in Brexit Britain. It shows what many of the MPs standing for re-election really think of us. It provides us with useful information as we exercise our right to vote next month. They hate you and they distrust you – remember that at the ballot box.


Multiculturalism has failed

We need a new politics devoted to bringing people together.

Over the years more and more mainstream European politicians have woken up to the failures of multiculturalism in their respective countries.

Back in 2010, at a meeting with young members of her Christian Democratic Union party, German chancellor Angela Merkel conceded that Germany’s multicultural approach – known as multikulti – had utterly failed. In Germany, as in so many other European countries, culturally disparate communities are living side by side, but with minimal cross-group interaction and meaningful contact.

Many of Merkel’s colleagues, such as Horst Seehofer, have long declared that the concept of Leitkultur (a ‘leading German culture’) and a more regimented immigration system are needed to create a more cohesive Germany.

But although Merkel has had the courage at points to talk about the problems of multiculturalism, her actions more recently have only exacerbated them, and undermined her reputation as a steady, sensible and responsible leader in the process.

Her decision in 2015 to allow in approximately one million refugees from unstable Muslim-majority countries, such as Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, placed considerable strain on Germany’s social fabric. This decision was all the more mind-boggling in light of the fact that Germany had already struggled to integrate migrants of Turkish Muslim origin – and even their German-born children.

When it comes to the issue of multiculturalism, many countries across Europe are in need of robust political leadership. We need leaders who acknowledge the drawbacks of multiculturalism and are willing to confront deeply concerning cultural practices and norms within migrant communities. On this front, there are reasons to be hopeful.

Under the thoughtful leadership of Mette Frederiksen, the Danish Social Democrats are seeking to create a national culture based on shared identity, common purpose and mutual obligations. The party has also adopted a mature approach to public concerns over immigration and social cohesion. The Danish premier has openly criticised problematic attitudes within her Danish Muslim communities – including a lack of respect for Denmark’s judicial system and embedded forms of patriarchal coercion.

It is not racist to have reservations about multiculturalism. Nor is it racist to be concerned about the social impact of allowing into your country a great number of people from unstable countries, in which prevailing cultural and legal norms vastly differ from those of your own. You can be comfortable with racial diversity and simultaneously anxious about religio-cultural diversity. This is by no means a contradictory position.

We here in Britain need to grasp this issue. Multiculturalism here has led to a similarly divided society, and we desperately need to foster more integration. But to do so requires us to pose the question: what are we asking migrants to ‘integrate’ into? When we ask people to adopt ‘British values’, what are we referring to? Because all is not well within mainstream British culture.

The UK has established itself as a world leader in family breakdown. We have among the highest rates of binge-drinking in the world. We have an unhealthy obsession with celebrity ‘icons’. The level of loneliness among the elderly is not only a social scourge, but also a national embarrassment. These features of modern British society and culture are not desirable by any stretch of the imagination.

What the UK requires, therefore, is moral and political leadership. We need someone brave enough to call out problematic behaviours and attitudes in society – both in the general public and less-integrated migrant communities. And we need to carve out a set of common values.

Multiculturalism is ultimately doomed to failure. In championing difference over cohesion, it fails to provide a central moral and cultural standard. Without this shared social framework, it is nigh-on impossible to cultivate the bonds of trust and mutual regard needed to tie together a multi-ethnic, religiously diverse society. This should be a particular concern for those who are supportive of a comprehensive welfare state, which can only be properly sustained by a high-trust, cohesive society.

The answer to all this is a brand of patriotism that is inclusive, community-spirited and family-oriented: one that understands the human desire for neighbourliness; that celebrates hard work and encourages social responsibility; that emphasises respect for the British rule of law; and that recognises the socially harmful effects of ‘parallel societies’, which particularly blight post-industrial northern towns.

Brexit could well be the catalyst for the social renewal that this country so desperately needs. As a self-governing nation state, we could develop a sensible immigration system that prioritises individuals with English-language skills and those from Commonwealth nations with similar political and legal systems. A post-Brexit Britain could strive to develop a model of cohesion that firmly rejects both an ethno-centric understanding of nationhood and the grievance narratives peddled by the identitarian left.

We should embrace a politics of mutuality, reciprocity and responsibility, and consign multiculturalism to the dustbin of history.


The mice that roared

BERNARD SALT on the class element in Australia's recent federal election

From out of their darkened hidey-holes they came in their thousands towards the light, towards the truth, ever onwards in search of recognition and acknowledgment. They found their voice on election night, those who had always lived among us but who had been shunned and dismissed as a lesser Australian life-form.

These are the coal-mining, McMansion-dwelling, hi-vis-vest-wearing, ute-driving, Bali-holiday-aspiring Australians who generally cluster in traditional nuclear families and couldn’t give a (let’s say) toss about politics but simply want to get on with the business of providing for their families. May I suggest that the inner-city hipster elite and their corporate wannabe besties clutch their beards and pearls in readiness for the abject horror of my next sentence: Quiet Australians are the type of people who see nothing odd about drinking instant coffee from a paper cup.

I reckon this now mobilised band of Australians is a tolerant lot. They have never been particularly religious and are generally accepting of the range of identities that have found voice over recent years. Their ethos is very much “live and let live”, or at least this was the case until earlier this year, when a series of proposed policies challenged the livelihood of what was to become known as the Quiet Australians. They came into the light because they were being lectured to by the Loud Australians, who for some time had been lording it over the rest of the nation and telling them how life should be lived.

May 18, 2019 will go down in history as a day of quiet rebellion across the Australian continent and the reverberations were felt all the way from the Bowen Basin to Canberra to the cafes of Melbourne’s North Fitzroy. The very foundations of progressive thinking were rejected on that day of judgment. Quiet Australians had had enough of being berated by politicians whose careers prior to politics were constrained to the cosiness of the public sector and/or other tax-exempt entities.

Quiet Australians raise families, buy homes, manage teenagers, treat themselves to an annual holiday, run one or two cars, all while doing their best to stay united and solvent amid the turmoil of a working life. What’s more, they understand that their way of life depends upon the ability of the business in which they work to compete in a world where profit determines survival. As dirty and distasteful as this concept appears to the non-deplorables, this is in fact the real world.

Here’s the thing about Australian democracy: everyone gets a vote, including people whose views are at odds with your own. The truly odd thing is, this concept is bleedingly obvious. Why is it that inner-city elites believe that their thinking, their will, their agenda, can be – should be – imposed upon the lifestyles of others? One view is that this is blind arrogance, the belief that one position is morally superior to another and that all that is required is effective messaging: “The provinces and the suburbs will come on board once they see the munificence of the point we are making.”

This may explain the rise of the same phenomenon at the last US presidential election and the Brexit vote. But I think there is something else that underpins the disconnect between the progressive elite and the Quiet Australians: the big-city chauvinism that has long governed the way we think and act. Perhaps it’s time the inner-city elites acknowledged the concerns of the Quiet Australians.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


11 November, 2019

Diversity as a snark

Below is most of an article from "The Economist" in the form of a letter to a chief excutive. It is about "diversity" -- i.e. getting women and blacks into well-paid jobs that they may or may not be suited for.  It is quite good on what to do and what not to do in accomplishing that political goal. 

But the list of dos and don'ts is very extensive. In effect, practically everything you do has to be changed.  One is reminded of the old German socialist (and Nazi) slogan:  "Alles muss anders sein" (Everything must be changed).

So an obvious question in that case is whether diversity-mongers are trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Is an impossible task being attempted? The figures below certainly suggest that. They suggest that diversity is an immovable object. So are the coveted minorities just not very suited for what is asked of them? If everything has to be upended to get them in, that is an obvious question

And experience elsewhere reinforces that question.  Indians, Chinese and Jews are minorities but nobody needs a diversity program to get them wherever you want them.  They get into the top echelons all by themselves.  The highest earning ethnic group in America is Indians.  Being brown men with a tendency to funny accents certainly does not hold them back.  Not many went to Ivy League schools either.

So it looks like diversity efforts are just another of the unnatural goals that Leftists are always setting for other people. The way things are never suits Leftists.  So they impose on others all sorts of difficult tasks with dubious benefits.  Their never-ending speech codes are a prime example of that. So given the vast abusive screeches that Leftists go on with, I guess some appearance of diversity-seeking has to be attempted -- but it would be unwise to take it very seriously. It won't work

This is where we are: lots of talk, plenty of initiatives, little change on the ground. Between 2015 and 2018 the share of female executives at large (mostly) American and British firms went from 12% to 14%; for ethnic minorities it moved from 12% to 13%. The FTSE 100 has fewer female CEOs (six) than it does bosses who share your name (seven). In American companies with over 100 employees, the share of black men in management was 3.4% in 2017, half their share in the population as a whole—and virtually unchanged from 3% in 1985. White women make up 25% of executives and senior managers, compared with 60% for white men. Something is clearly amiss.

In the past this letter would have gone straight to your legal department. Since the term “diversity” entered the corporate lexicon in the 1960s it has been code for avoiding lawsuits—especially in America, where companies have coughed up billions in fines for discrimination over the years. The financial sector still treats it mostly as a compliance issue.

Deep inside, you may be wondering if anything really needs solving. The short answer is: it does. With that in mind, you should ask yourself three things.

Are you hoping that diversity will boost the bottom line? To be perfectly honest, I have no idea if it does. It is hard to tell if diversity helps firms do well, or if successful firms are also more enlightened on other matters. But variety has been linked to innovation, productivity and, for example in diverse teams of surgeons, fewer mistakes. Lack of it breeds groupthink— which in turn can lead to disasters. The Bay of Pigs invasion and the Lehman Brothers collapse stemmed from narrow-minded-ness. And employees who believe their firm cares about gender diversity are 40% more likely to be satisfied at work—and possibly more productive as a result.

Once you have sorted out the why, consider where you want to get to. Some firms, like Facebook, Nike or P&G, say they wish to mirror their customer base. Others are keen not to recruit from an artificially thin talent pool. Goldman Sachs claims its new entry-level recruitment targets—50% female and, in America, 14% Hispanic and 11% black—are based on things like graduation rates. Clear goals make it easier to assess if you are on track. But make them attainable. Qantas’s goal of 40% of its pilot intake to be female by 2028 is as admirable as it looks unrealistic: today just one in 20 pilots worldwide is a woman.

The third question concerns barriers that stop diverse talent from flourishing at your firm. Mapping how it flows through your organisation and where the blockages and leaks happen is a start. A McKinsey study of more than 300 companies identified the second step of the career ladder, from entry level to manager, as the “broken rung”: for every 100 men only 72 women (and just 68 Hispanic and 58 black ones) earned that critical early promotion. When Google was losing women in disproportionate numbers it homed in on maternity as the principal cause; the technology giant increased maternity leave and support for mothers returning to work.

Now you’ve got your diversity-and-inclusion (D&I) priorities straight and diagnosed what needs fixing. Good. Before you order a rainbow float for a Pride parade and send staff on a micro-aggression avoidance course, here is what not to do.

The don’ts

American firms spend billions a year on training. Half of large ones have unconscious-bias seminars. Most of these “D&I” programmes are a waste. Or worse: recent research from America shows that diversity statements can put off minorities, possibly because they perceive them as tokenism. Often, firms do D but forget I, which is about ensuring that the workforce is not just diverse, but thriving. Too many try to fix people instead of procedures. Training women to be more assertive in asking for a promotion or pay rise is pointless; they are just as likely to ask for these but also likelier to be seen as pushy when they do. Ushering your managers onto the “Check Your Blind Spots bus”, currently touring America as part of the CEOs’ drive, is unlikely to do much. “Days of understanding”, popular in American offices, risk causing “diversity fatigue”. It is hard to beat bias out of individuals—easier to root it out of systems.

Take Silicon Valley. Big Tech has splurged on D&I to little effect. Representation of blacks and Hispanics has been flat (see chart). Girls Who Code, an industry-sponsored NGO, found that a quarter of young women who applied for internships at tech firms said they were asked inappropriate or biased questions. Others reported being flirted with or demeaned. It’s no use hiring diverse coders if the message then is: wear a hoodie and pretend to be a guy, or this is no place for you. They will underperform—or flee, leaving you as undiverse as before. Firms that do not change their ways beyond recruitment see high attrition rates of diverse talent. A lack of diversity is a symptom of deeper problems that a few diversity hires won’t mend.

The how

At this point the how should be relatively clear. In a nutshell, it is all about creating a level playing field. When recruiting, software can mute biases by concealing giveaways to a candidate’s gender or ethnic identity. These include names but also less obvious hints like the sports they play. If only the usual suspects apply, look harder. Specialised recruitment drives, such as visiting “black” colleges or advertising in women’s forums, appear to work. The Bank of England no longer visits the Russell group of top universities, whose graduates apply in spades anyway, and focuses instead on less elite schools. BHP, an Anglo-Australian mining giant, broadened its search for female miners by recruiting from professions, such as nursing, with some similar skills.

In an effort to find trainees from different backgrounds, British law firms are trying “contextual recruitment”. An applicant with Bs from a school where everyone got Cs may be more impressive than one with As from a place full of A* pupils. Rare, a recruitment firm, has developed software which screens candidates for disadvantage and gauges their outperformance against the average for their school.

Once in the workplace, the clearer your criteria for professional advancement, the better. Informality is the enemy of women and minorities. It perpetuates bias. Surveys of American engineers and lawyers found that female workers were nearly twice as likely as their male peers to be saddled with “office housework”, like setting up meetings and conference calls. White men were likelier to be given career-enhancing tasks such as client meetings.

Sponsorship schemes are an effective way to ensure traditionally sidelined groups get a fair shot. Payscale, a pay-com-parison site, found that employees with a sponsor made 11.6% more than those without. The Bank of England has offered most of its sponsorship places to ethnic-minority women. Staff surveys, if bite-sized but regular, can bring clarity to fuzzy inclusion metrics. “Psychological safety”, lingo for an environment where people feel free to speak their mind, can be tracked with questions like “are your ideas regularly attributed to someone else?” or “are you regularly interrupted in meetings?” Rotating who chairs a meeting, or a firm word with loudmouths who dominates it, can help.

Many employers—yourself included— would be horrified to learn that they implicitly require employees who want to be considered leadership material to adjust their behaviour. Women shouldn’t need to “act like a man”, gay employees to “act straight” or people with frizzy hair to treat it to “look professional” (ie, white). Let grievances fester and your workers will lose motivation or simply leave.


UK National Health Service to Deny Treatment to ‘Racists’ and ‘Sexists’

A peril of government medicine.  You can be denied treatment on political grounds:  Hospitals as a place to keep your mouth shut

What could possibly go wrong? A National Health Service (NHS) trust in the UK has announced that it will deny treatment to patients it deems are ‘racists’ or ‘sexists’.

No, this is not the Onion. The North Bristol NHS Trust said that “threatening and offensive language,” as well as “racist or sexist language, gestures or behaviour” and “malicious allegations” would all be punishable offenses.

Patients who commit such an infraction will be subject to a “sports-style disciplinary yellow card and then final red card in which treatment would be withdrawn as soon as is safe.”

“We have staff from many different backgrounds, from all over the world, and we pride ourselves on our commitment to equality which is a fundamental value of the NHS,” said Andrea Young, Chief Executive for North Bristol NHS Trust.

“We’re sending a strong signal that any racism or discrimination is completely unacceptable – we want staff to challenge and report it and we want everyone to know that it will have consequences,” she added.

The problem here of course is that the definition of what constitutes ‘racism’ or ‘sexism’ gets broader with each passing day.

As Jack Montgomery highlights, “In late 2017 an NHS patient who requested a female nurse to carry out a cervical smear complained when the hospital sent a person with “an obviously male appearance… close-cropped hair, a male facial appearance and voice, large number of tattoos and facial stubble” who insisted “My gender is not male. I’m a transsexual”.

Foster parents have also had children removed from their care by the state because they were supporters of UKIP and not vehement supporters of “multiculturalism.”

The University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust also ordered that the British flag be removed from security staff stab vests after one person complained that it was “offensive.”

This is even worse than China’s social credit score, which to my knowledge doesn’t yet punish people by withdrawing medical treatment if they engage in wrongthink.

First it was deplatforming people from social media websites, then it was deplatforming people from bank accounts and mortgages. Now it’s deplatforming people from hospital treatment.

Literally eliminating people’s right to basic health care because of their political or social opinions.

This is where we’re at, and this is why the UK is truly the capital of Clown World Order.


Wisconsin governor returns ‘holiday tree’ name to evergreen

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has gone back to calling the evergreen on display at the state Capitol a holiday tree, reversing his predecessor who declared it a Christmas tree.

The state Department of Administration places a huge evergreen in the Capitol rotunda every year ahead of Christmas. The tree has been a tradition since 1916.

Politicians called it a Christmas tree until 1985, when they began referring to it as a holiday tree to avoid perceptions that they were endorsing religion. DOA allows other groups to place displays in the rotunda as end-of-the-year holidays approach, including a menorah and a Festivus pole, a nod to the fictional holiday in the ‘‘Seinfeld’’ television series. But the controversy over what to call the tree has never really died.

Former governor Scott Walker, a Republican, declared the tree a Christmas tree when he took office in 2011.  Evers, a Democrat, called the tree a holiday tree on Friday.


Transgenderism, Child Abuse, and Medical Malpractice
Medical decisions must now be informed by "woke" political considerations

In 2015, for the first time in nearly 25 years, the Association of American Medical Colleges — which is one-half of the only government-approved accrediting entity for U.S. medical schools — revised the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) in such a way as to fundamentally alter the way medical schools assess their applicants.

The leader of this change was Dr. Darrell Kirch, president and CEO of the AAMC. “Kirch often insists that social justice is the neglected core tenet of medical ethics; in a 2015 essay, he praised the White Coats for Black Lives movement, a medical-student organization inspired by Black Lives Matter, for ‘sparking dialogue rather than division’ by ‘staging on-campus die-ins,’” explains columnist Devorah Goldman.

“White Coats for Black Lives lobbies, among other things, for the creation of ‘national medical school curricular standards’ that would mandate the teaching of ‘structural racism’ and ‘unconscious racial bias’ in medical schools.”

In an interview that same year, Kirch stated that his greater goal with regard to the MCAT was to test “not just what students know but how they think.”

Translation: medical decisions must now be informed by “woke” political considerations.

This nonsense has also infected the American Psychological Association (APA). For the first time ever, the APA determined this year that “traditional masculinity — marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression — is, on the whole, harmful.”

Thus, clinicians are advised to be aware of their own bias and face the reality that “power, privilege, and sexism work both by conferring benefits to men and by trapping them in narrow roles.”

What’s not harmful? The transgender agenda. In 2012, the organization removed the term “gender identity disorder” from its directory of mental illnesses, reclassifying it as “gender dysphoria.” Today, the Treatment section of the APA website recommends that gender dysphoria should be addressed by “counseling, cross-sex hormones, puberty suppression and gender reassignment surgery” — for adults.

What about children? Political waffling. “A child’s treatment typically involves a multi-disciplinary team of health care professionals, which may include a pediatrician, a psychiatrist, other mental health professionals, a pediatric endocrinologist (specialists in hormone conditions in children) and an advocate,” the APA website states. “Treatment may focus primarily on affirming psychological support, understanding feelings and coping with distress, and giving children a safe space to articulate their feelings. For many children the feelings do not continue into adolescence and adulthood.”

“Many” children? According to the American College of Pediatricians “as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.” Feelings? “No one is born with a gender,” the ACP asserts. “Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one.”

It’s far worse than that. Gender has become a political term. One so removed from biological and chromosomal reality that children in the UK are being taught there are more than one hundred “gender identities,” and The Royal College of General Practitioners recognizes six: male, female, “gender-neutral,” “nonbinary,” “gender-fluid,” and “gender-queer.”

All well and good save for one inconvenient reality: If one undergoes gender-reassignment surgery — arguably the most drastic capitulation to gender dysphoria — one gets only two choices: man or woman.

Sadly, “man and woman” now includes boy and girl. In the latest debacle, Austin, Texas, Judge Kim Cooks of the 255th district, who won an unopposed general election in 2018, has essentially remained agnostic regarding whether or not seven-year-old James Younger should undergo the chemical castration necessary to satisfy his physician mother’s wishes to turn him into a girl named “Luna” — despite the largely under-publicized reality that James has a twin brother named Jude.

Cooks issued joint custody to both Dr. Anne Georgulas and father Jeffrey Younger, who is desperate to prevent his son from getting puberty blockers. Cooks also issued a gag order to both parents so they cannot speak to the press about the case — meaning Younger’s “Save James” website will have to be shut down.

Ironically, Cooks is the voice of reason here. She overruled an 11-1 Dallas jury’s verdict that awarded sole custody of James to his mother.

James Younger is hardly an outlier in what amounts to a monstrous collaboration between a politically compromised medical community and ideologically addled parents. As the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) website reveals, doctors are also performing double mastectomies on healthy 13-year-old girls, even as it admits professional guidelines “lack clarity … because there are no data documenting the effect of chest surgery on minors.”

Puberty blockers? Although they are championed by the Endocrine Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Food and Drug Administration isn’t on board due to the inconvenient reality that the agency has recorded more than 41,000 adverse events reported with their use between 2013 and June 30, 2019 — including 6,370 deaths.

How much more “woke” can the medical community get? As woke as society at large will let them, it seems. A society at large that apparently prefers avoiding accusations of bigotry to the point where it abides the teaching of the transgender agenda in elementary schools, “men” getting pregnant, biological males dominating women’s sports — and what amounts to the mutilation of physically healthy children.

 “From 1933 to 1945, Nazi Germany carried out a campaign to ‘cleanse’ German society of individuals viewed as biological threats to the nation’s ‘health,’” the Holocaust Encyclopedia recounts. “The Nazis enlisted the help of physicians and medically trained geneticists, psychiatrists, and anthropologists to develop racial health policies.”

In modern-day America, the Rainbow Mafia has enlisted the same cadre of professionals to develop gender-health policies. And much like their Nazi forebears, they will attempt to crush anyone who dares to defy their morally bankrupt agenda. Thus, calling the surgical and chemical transition of children the parental child abuse and medical malpractice it is truly has become a “revolutionary act.”

Let the revolution begin — in earnest.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


10 November, 2019

Horrific mother

Consumed by feminist ideology

James Younger, a 7-year-old caught in a bitter transgender custody battle, has decided to attend school this year as a boy.

In a post from the Facebook page 'Save James,' pictures of James dressed in a button down shirt, slacks and tennis shoes were shared Monday morning.

The caption said: 'Going to school. This is what it looks like when JAMES gets to choose! *Affirm this!* Also, a photo taken yesterday, just before church. James and Jude proud to be men! Save James, save thousands of children!'

In an update, the Facebook page reveals that James experienced no problems while attending class that day.

'Jeff emailed the principal today and James and Jude's teachers had reported that there was zero stress or disruptions in the classroom today. Just another day in school,' the post said. 

Jeffrey Younger, James' father, was previously fighting his ex-wife Dr. Anne Georgulas over their child's gender. 

Georgulas, a pediatrician, argues that James is transgender and wants the child to transition to a girl named Luna.

She says three mental health professionals had diagnosed James with gender dysphoria and recommended they begin referring to the child as Luna instead of James. 

Younger believes his child does not have gender dysphoria and is just confused about gender.

He accused Georgulas of forcing the child to transition socially by making the child wear dresses. 

In mid-October, Judge Kim Cooks ruled that both parents will have joint conservatorship over James' transitioning.

It means both parents will have to make joint medical decisions regarding their child, including whether James undergoes any hormone therapy. 

Joint decisions over haircuts, dental and psychiatric care will also be mandatory. Younger and Georgulas will also be forced to go to counseling.

The battle began when Georgulas filed a court order in 2018 to change their joint custody arrangement to require Younger to refer to their child as 'Luna.'  

Younger and Georgulas underwent IVF treatment to have twins and requested their babies gender be male before their birth in 2012.

They annulled their marriage several years later and arguments over their child's gender began soon after.

Georgulas reportedly took James to see a gender therapist at the Children's Hospital Center after she noticed they requested girl-themed toys, imitating female Disney characters and asking to wear dresses.

The therapist recommended James begin to identify as Luna and transition.

As of October 24, the child identified as a girl in school and was called Luna by teachers.

Younger alleges that Georgulas has been forcing the transition ever since they divorced and said his ex-wife was manipulating James at just 3-years-old.

He said Georgulas would lock James inside a bedroom and told said, 'monsters only eat boys.'

In an interview with Christian political consultant Luke Macias, Younger said his child is not a girl and that James 'violently refuses to dress as girl at my house.'

He went on to claim that Georgulas was sexually abusing their child. 

Younger said: 'I want you to imagine having electronic communication with you son on FaceTime, and imagine that your ex-wife has dressed him as a drag queen to talk to you. He has false eyelashes and makeup. His hair has got glitter in it. He's wearing a dress.'

'Now imagine how you would feel seeing what I believe is actual sexual abuse - I believe this is not just emotional abuse but is the very, most fundamental form of sexual abuse, tampering with the sexual identity of a vulnerable boy. Every. Single. Day.

'You have to see your son sexually abused, and you have to maintain your calm... because the courts are not going to be fair to you. And the only way you can survive this and get your son through this alive is to calmly allow your son to be tortured right before your eyes and outlast the opposition. That's what it's like.' 


California Is Forcing Churches to Pay for Abortions

Forcing a church to pay for abortions is another low for a state that lost at the U.S. Supreme Court after it tried to force pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortions. But there’s more to this story.

In 2014, the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) sent a letter to health insurers that rescinded existing religious accommodations and mandated immediate coverage of abortion, regardless of existing plan language.

Skyline Church was one of the religious organizations with an affected plan. The letter didn’t announce a notice and comment period typical of a government change in policy. And it certainly didn’t ask for the input of the organizations affected. Rather, the DMHC mandated that the healthcare plans of employers like Skyline Church include coverage for elective abortion.

But it gets worse. The DMHC changed its policy after being urged to do so by Planned Parenthood. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys discovered a series of emails from Planned Parenthood to the DMHC asking agency officials to “fix” exemptions for religious organizations that oppose abortion.

This means that, driven by activists at Planned Parenthood, California has gone out of its way to force pro-life churches, like Skyline, to fund abortions. And in the process, California will force people of faith to be complicit in something that fundamentally violates their deepest beliefs.

No matter where you stand on abortion, this is a violation of the First Amendment. We can all agree that every American should be free to live and work according to their faith without fear of unjust punishment by the government—especially a church like Skyline.

That’s why ADF filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf of Skyline Wesleyan Church. And, today, ADF is arguing this case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


A Rude Awakening Awaits The ‘Woke’

The professional victim class is very upset with former President Barack Obama. Why? Because he basically pointed out how they’re not activists, they’re basically Nazis willing to do anything to enforce conformity of thought on the nation.

Obama, of course, didn’t call them Nazis, at least not in so many words, but the implication was there. And it wasn’t missed by the left-wing mob demanding uniformity of thought.

What did Obama say that has these snowflakes melting? He told a crowd at an Obama Foundation event, “This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically ‘woke’ and all that stuff. You should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids. And share certain things with you.”

You may be asking yourself how that’s controversial; how did getting along with people and compromising to get things done become a betrayal to some kind of liberal cause? If you’re a sane person, it’s not controversial, it’s reality. It’s adulthood.

But thanks to the policies and political party of President Obama, adulthood is now just a prolonged temper tantrum. The “woke” crowd is a large percentage of millennials, though not the whole group (thank God), and their existence to this point has not prepared them for a world outside the cocoon of groupthink.

They’ve been raised not to keep score, because losing could damage their psyche. Their walls are covered in participation ribbons and the area between their ears is marinated in praises of adequacy. When you’ve been told your existence makes you special by people who were supposed to prepare you for adulthood, adulthood becomes a scary place.

Reality doesn’t care that your parents thought the world of you, the world doesn’t think of you at all. You have to make it think of you by making something of yourself. And these little brats, whose fits thrown in the toy aisle may have ended up with “time out” also likely ended up with the toy they wanted.

So when someone, anyone, tells them “no,” scolds them in any way, they aren’t capable of handling it.

Some guy named Ernest Owens, who is described only as “a journalist,” was tapped by The New York Times to respond angrily to Obama’s mild rebuke of people freaking out over every perceived slight.

Owens wrote a long, whiny piece about how everyone else just doesn’t get how important these temper tantrums are because they’re too dumb to understand it. “Boomers and Gen-Xers, along with a handful of younger people with more regressive views, have been agitated by the way many young Americans — and especially young people of color — use social media, the only platform many of us have, to talk about the causes we care about,” Owens declared. “But they are going to have to get over it.”

Owens really lays on a thick coat of victim paint. He’s a gay black man who can’t accept most people don’t care about either of those things while believing he should be celebrated for them. Those things define him, and his “journalism.” In a video on his website he talks about how he brings his unique “intersectionality” to journalism. Not accuracy, not honesty or fairness, but intersectionality.

For sane people who don’t know, intersectionality is the ever-changing food pyramid of victimhood Democrats created to ensure they could take any situation and manufacture a victim. It’s garbage, and it’s ruining a generation of young people.

Over the weekend, a bunch of angry leftists in New York stormed the subway system, jumping the turnstiles to protest the idea of enforcing the law by arresting people who do just that. For good measure, they carried the usual “progressive” signs about f-ing and punching the police.

One of the organizing groups, calling itself “Decolonize This Place,” chanted, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom! It is our duty to win! We must love each other and support each other! We have nothing to lose but our chains!”

They’re too angry or dumb to realize they are free and whatever “chains” are holding them down are of their own making. It’s amazing how the more “woke” someone is, the more they seem to sleep through the obvious.

One day, hopefully soon and before it’s too late, these people will wake up and realize that they’ve been lied to. That President Obama, of all people, was giving them a gift when he told them to calm down, that reality bears little resemblance to their insulated drum circles and college “safe rooms.” Until then, be prepared for more Nazi tactics, ironically done to combat what they think of as fascism. Oh, and unemployment, because social media is forever, and who would be crazy enough to hire anyone bringing this kind of baggage with them? 


The FBI is Now Investigating ‘It’s Okay to be White’ Posters
A valuable use of their resources

The FBI is now investigating ‘It’s Okay to be White’ posters after the “hate filled flyers” were posted around the campus of Western Connecticut State University.

After the flyers were discovered, university president John Clark characterized them as a ‘hateful attack’. Other flyers also posted on campus said “Islam is right about women.”

“Have no doubt that we are treating this as an attack on our university community and making every effort to see that those responsible are caught and properly punished,” Clark wrote in a letter. “I am fully committed to the absolutely necessary goal this does not happen again. We must be ever vigilant to protect our university against these hateful attacks.”

Clark added that if any student was found to be responsible for posting the flyers, they would be expelled as well as hit with possible “criminal actions.”

The FBI office in New Haven was also alerted and is now investigating the flyers.

As we reported yesterday, similar flyers were posted at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, prompting authorities there to launch a “hate crime” investigation.

Why the FBI hasn’t got anything better to do with its resources God only knows.

It’s not as if the flyers even need “investigating,” since we already know their origin.

The whole thing was a product of 4chan trolls who sought to repeat their stunt of posting the flyers on Halloween to bait the media into whipping up another moral panic about racism.

By prodding progressives and the press into suggesting that it’s not ‘okay to be white’ as proven by their hysterical overreaction, the trolls are in the process revealing the actual racism of leftists



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


8 November, 2019

The 1932 and 1939 Project: How the New York Times Covered up Murder and Genocide

With the launching of the New York Times’ “1619 Project,” the paper of record seeks to reframe American history.  Formerly we had foolishly assumed the birth of the nation to be July 4, 1776, with the writing of the Declaration of Independence.  But no, the paper of record has another date in mind.

It turns out to be 1619, with the importing of the first African slaves to America.  That moment, the Times believes, more accurately depicts the founding of the nation and its underlying precepts.  We now learn that our Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, or our disingenuous claim that “all men are created equal” do not define the nation.  Rather, it is that America is a uniquely racist and exploitative enterprise, a criminal operation, morally stained in its DNA, founded as it is on the institution of slavery.  Furthermore, we are to understand that all the advances and benefits that have accrued to our nation in its 243-year history, come not from our religious underpinnings, individual and private property rights, free markets, and our constitutional system of limited government, but rather -- you guessed it -- slavery.

Others have refuted the ideologic and political 1619 Project, so I will not retrace ground covered elsewhere. It makes more sense to declare a new project that I will describe as the “1932 and 1939 Project,” not as a new timeline and birthdate for the founding of the nation but rather as the origin of the despairingly predictable leftist propaganda machine that the media have become.  Why 1932 and 1939?  These are the years that the NY Times chose to ignore, cover up, and whitewash for ideological purposes what were among the worst genocides of the 20th century -- the Ukraine famine and the Holocaust.

Walter Duranty was the NY Times Moscow Bureau Chief from 1922-1936, soon after the Bolshevik overthrow of the Russian government. Duranty was an apologist for communism.  Many in the American intelligentsia were also sympathetic to communism and appreciated Duranty’s dispatches.  It was after Joseph Stalin’s first five-year plan, 1928-1933, in which Stalin attempted to restructure the Soviet economy, that Duranty became prominent based on exclusive interviews that Stalin granted him. The dictator’s policies led to widespread famine, particularly in the Ukraine, where estimates of up to 10 million people perished between 1932-1933, thought by many to be a deliberate genocide.  Duranty received the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for a series of reports from the Soviet Union in which he defended Stalin and denied that there was widespread famine.  Contemporaneous observers reported that Duranty knew of the starvation and knowingly misrepresented the evidence. 

The Times is also notorious for covering up the Holocaust, the Nazi effort to exterminate the Jews during World War II.  It did so by burying stories about the Nazi genocide against the Jews in the back pages of the paper, avoiding the front page except on rare occasions.  The Times often avoided mentioning that the victims of the Nazi persecutions, deportations, and death camps were Jews.  If you had read the front page of the NY Times during the period of the Holocaust (1939 -1945), you would have missed the fact that the Nazis were rounding up, imprisoning, torturing, starving, executing, gassing, and otherwise exterminating on an industrial scale millions of innocent Jews

In the face of the ideological groupthink of the press, our own Soviet media, it seems reasonable to ground it in historical events that arguably define the onset of its debasement.  If the Times can casually change the birth of the U.S. from 1776 to 1619 and redefine our founding principles, as it did in its 1619 Project, then surely we can recommend reasonable start dates for the perversion of our media.  And what better and more consequential press outrages than the gloss-over by the NY Times of two of the 20th century’s greatest genocides?

The media is no longer content to simply fulfill its obligation to the First Amendment and report the news objectively, share ideas, challenge dogmas, enlighten the public, promote American principles, and provide critical oversight of the government. Instead, it has descended into an openly leftist propaganda coalition intent on promoting a Marxist view of reality indistinguishable from that of the Democratic Party.  This collapse into summary leftism in support of one political party and dogma has reached its acme in the age of Trump where even the pretense of impartiality has been discarded. 

The “1932 and 1939 Project” targets two critical moments when the NY Times, the dominant media voice of the radical left, failed to expose and marshal attention toward a critical matter.  It chose instead to conceal and bury two catastrophic annihilations, deliberately collaborating in the deaths of millions of innocent victims.    


Leave adoption out of the culture wars

by Jeff Jacoby

NOVEMBER IS National Adoption Month, so it is fitting that the Trump administration has just taken a step that will make it a little easier to find permanent homes for children who need them.

On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced plans to roll back a regulation that for three years has discriminated against traditional Christian adoption and foster care agencies. The regulation — imposed during the final days of Barack Obama's presidency — decreed that agencies providing child-welfare services could not receive federal grants if they were unwilling to place children with same-sex couples. That was a blow to adoption providers with a strong conviction that vulnerable children do best when they are adopted by families with a married mother and father. It was also a restriction never mandated by Congress: Federal civil rights laws prohibit discrimination on numerous grounds — race, color, national origin, sex, religion, and so on. But no federal statute has ever made sexual orientation a protected class.

The White House said over the weekend that undoing the Obama-era rule would mean that faith-based agencies would no longer be forced "to choose between helping children and their faith." Liberal journalists and activist groups snorted at this; the Human Rights Campaign issued a statement blasting what it called an "unconscionable" ploy "to justify discrimination against LGBTQ people and other communities."

But in contemporary America, legal discrimination against same-sex couples seeking to adopt or foster children is a nonissue. Gay and lesbian couples readily adopt children in all 50 states. The Williams Institute at UCLA Law School calculated in 2013 that there were 16,000 same-sex couples raising more than 22,000 adopted children nationwide — and that the highest rates of child-rearing by same-sex couples was not in left-wing coastal enclaves, but in such red-America bastions as Mississippi, Wyoming, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana.

By contrast, traditional faith-based adoption providers have suffered legal discrimination. In some cases, official hostility toward those with a policy of placing children only with a married mother and father has proved so implacable that even agencies renowned for being able to find "forever homes" for troubled children have had to shut down.

When Massachusetts decreed in 2006 that adoption agencies could no longer discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, the state's most venerable adoption provider — Catholic Charities of Massachusetts — was forced to end a service it had been providing for more than 100 years. In the years that followed, there was a sharp drop in the number of children successfully placed for adoption, while the number in foster care waiting to be adopted swelled.

When my wife and I wanted to adopt a child from another country, we chose an adoption agency with particular expertise at facilitating foreign adoptions. In similar fashion, other would-be adoptive parents may prefer to work with agencies grounded in normative religious teachings — just as some birth mothers may choose to place their children for adoption through providers that share their faith. A biological mother who makes the deeply personal decision to let her child be adopted can hardly be faulted for wanting to know that her little one will be raised in a religious home, or in one with a mom and a dad. And faith-based providers often excel at recruiting suitable adoptive parents from religious communities.

More than 400,000 American children are in foster care; 110,000 of them are legally free to be adopted. That's a huge population of kids in need. It should go without saying that the greater the diversity of qualified adoption agencies available to find good homes for them, the better. Just as there is room for providers with a proven history of facilitating adoption by same-sex couples, so too should there be room for providers committed to familiar religious values. All the more so since religious Americans are much more likely than the public at large to become adoptive parents. "While only 2 percent of all Americans have adopted," reports the Barna Group, a research institute that studies American religion, "this rises to 5 percent among practicing Christians."

Instead of trying to squeeze traditional Christian adoption providers out of existence, federal and state authorities should be doing everything they can to encourage more of them to thrive. Every credible adoption agency wants one thing above all — to find loving parents for children who need them, without having to violate the dictates of conscience or judgment. Let the culture wars rage on some other front. When it comes to matching kids with permanent families, a policy of pluralism and tolerance will do the most good.


UK: Racist local authoity

A British couple who claim they were advised they couldn't adopt a "white child" because of their Indian heritage have taken a council to court in a landmark discrimination case.


Sandeep and Reena Mander, from Maidenhead, Berkshire, allege they were refused an application to join a register of approved adopters because of their Asian ancestry and told their chances would be improved if they looked to adopt in India or Pakistan.

The couple began a four-day court battle at Oxford County Court on Tuesday against Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council after suing them for discrimination. Their case has been backed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The council has rejected claims its social workers were "racist" towards the couple. While an adoption official told the court she deferred the couple's application because they wanted to care for a "a young under-three years old, simple needs child".

The Manders, who are aged in their 30s, showed an interest in adopting a child after attending a seminar in 2015 by Adopt Berkshire, the council's adoption service, and were encouraged to submit an application.

Mr Mander, the Vice President in charge of sales at an IT company, told the court of the couple's desire to apply and that he was asked to identify his ethnic origin upon ringing the adoption agency.

However, when he stated that they were both born and raised in Britain but their parents were born in India, Mr Mander claimed that he was told that they were unlikely to be approved as potential adopters due to their "Indian background", because only white children were available in Berkshire and the surrounding area.

Although the Manders live in a five-bedroom house and claim they were willing to offer any child a loving home and indeed were otherwise suitable to adopt, Adopt Berkshire claimed that it would still not let them apply to join the approved adopters' register because of their "Indian heritage".

The couple told the court that this was a simple case of direct discrimination on the grounds of race, in breach of Section 13 of the Equality Act 2010 and the European Convention on Human Rights.

They claim they should not have been rejected from joining the approved adopters' register because of where their parents were born.

Mrs Mander, a programme manager, told the court she heard her husband on the phone during a conversation with Adopt Berkshire.

"I could hear from his voice that something wasn't right, his tone was shocked," she said. "I heard something about cultural heritage," she told the court. "I felt that I should have the same right to enter the process as anyone else."

The court also heard from Hilary Loades who was Adopt Berkshire's "gatekeeper", and who rejected their adoption application.

Under cross-examination, she said she "deferred the application indefinitely" because the couple wanted "a young under-three years old, simple needs child" but the council had a lot of older vulnerable children who needed placing for adoption so she told Mr and Mrs Mander to "come back another time".

She added: "At the time, they were seeking placement for a single young child which did not match the criteria. There was nothing to suggest they were not suitable.

"Many adopters are looking for children who do not have complex needs and most children in the local authority do. We were recruiting, we weren’t recruiting to them."

Katherine Foster, defence barrister representing the council, which deny all the couple's claims, told Mrs Mander: "You are now determined to attribute racism to these social workers. You interpreted it as being racist when it was not”.

Giving evidence, Mrs Mander said that on April 25 2017 a social worker, Shirley Popat, telephoned the couple.

"She confirmed she would not accept our application due to our cultural heritage and our only other option was to adopt from India or Pakistan," she said.

The Manders have since successfully adopted a young boy from America.

During cross-examination, Ms Foster told Mrs Mander: "In your application [to adopt in the USA], you stated you wanted a child who was white or Hispanic. You wanted a child who looked more like you."

Mrs Mander replied: "I do not look white and I do not look Hispanic. We were advised not to tick every box, we did not mind what ethnicity the child was, we were willing to offer any child a loving home.

"All the correspondence felt like it was the colour of my skin which was why we were rejected."

The case continues


Harvey Proctor makes criminal complaint against five Scotland Yard officers

Harvey Proctor, the former Tory MP, who was falsely accused of child abuse by the fantasist Carl Beech has reported five Scotland Yard officers to the police for alleged criminal wrongdoing.

The 72-year-old has accused them of a string of offences, including perverting the course of justice and misconduct in public office.

The five officers he is demanding be investigated are; Steve Rodhouse, the former Deputy Assistant Commissioner in charge of Operation Midland; Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald; Detective Superintendent Diana Tudway; Detective Inspector Alison Hepworth and Detective Sergeant Eric Sword.

Mr Proctor said he had been forced to take the action after the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), absolved all the officers involved in the disastrous Operation Midland inquiry of any wrongdoing in a "whitewash" report.

He has now lodged a formal criminal complaint, accusing the officers of misleading a district judge when applying for search warrants to raid his home and those of the late former Home Secretary Lord Brittan, and Lord Bramall.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We can confirm that the MPS received a referral from Northumbria police on 31 October 2019 following a complaint comprising criminal allegations in relation to five former MPS officers involved in Operation Midland. The MPS is assessing the complaint."

Speaking at the press conference, Mr Proctor said: "It is unprecedented that two senior and respected judges should publicly allege criminality in the conduct of a police investigation.

"I waited for the MPS and the IOPC  to take the necessary action to trigger a full police investigation into this alleged criminality."

He went on: "After the fullest and most careful consideration, having taken legal advice, and with the deepest regret I am compelled, in the interest of justice, to report these matters as crimes to Northumbria Police."

Earlier this year, Sir Richard Henriques, the retired high court judge, who carried out a review of Operation Midland, said he believed there was evidence police officers had broken the law when making the applications.

And Howard Riddle, the district judge who issued the warrants, also recently said he believed he had been misled during the process.

In addition Mr Proctor has claimed the decision to describe Beech's allegations as "credible and true" at the outset of the investigation amounted to misconduct in public office.

Operation Midland was launched by Scotland Yard in November 2014 when Beech claimed he had been raped and tortured by a group of high profile politicians and public figures including Mr Proctor.

The Met spent 18 months investigating the claims before closing the investigation without making a single arrest.

In July, Beech was jailed for 18-years after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice and fraud.

But none of the officers involved in the £4 million probe have been disciplined over their role.

Ten days ago, Mr Proctor travelled from his home in Grantham to Northumbria Police headquarters where he made a formal criminal complaint against the five officers at the centre of the investigation.

The Northumbria Force, which successfully prosecuted Beech, passed the matter to Scotland Yard and Mr Proctor is now waiting to hear if a formal criminal investigation is launched.

Mr Proctor gave details of the move during a press conference at the same London hotel where he appeared four years ago to outline the claims that were being made against him by Beech.

He said: "I did not expect to have to return to this hotel four years later to inform everyone of the further steps I have taken to obtain justice."

Mr Proctor explained that Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, had advised him to apply to the courts for a judicial review of the IOPC investigation, but he said that would be prohibitively expensive.

"I therefore took the decision I am announcing today, to choose a different option, that is to report alleged criminality," he said.

"A live police investigation should be opened into my complaint of alleged crime as it covers serious, fresh and new evidence.   "Failure to do so would be further evidence that the MPS and the IOPC are hand in glove and conducting a cover up," he added.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


7 November, 2019


Five current articles below

Medivac laws: Asylum-seeker refusal of care shows system ‘being gamed’

Five people who refused to accept medical treatment after being transferred to Australia under contentious refugee medivac laws were diagnosed via teleconference with conditions including dermatitis, abdominal pain and dental pain.

In two cases, specialist care was recommended for men who claimed dental problems with one saying he had been prevented from eating solid foods although both individuals did not seek further assistance after their transfer.

While five transferees have refused any treatment, about 40 have turned down relevant pathology tests and X-rays, triggering new warnings from government MPs on Tuesday that the legislation was being “gamed”.

The number of asylum-­seekers and refugees seeking transfers under the medivac legislation has steadily increased and spiked in October, with 120 ­submitting applications that month. Two weeks ago, 562 ­remained in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

Scott Morrison needs the support of Senate crossbencher Jacqui Lambie to repeal the medivac laws, which were passed prior to the May 18 election by Labor and independent MPs in defiance of his then minority government.

Since the legislation came into force in March, 136 people have been brought from PNG and Nauru to Australia to receive medical assistance.

Of these, about 45 have ­partially or completely refused to accept the medical treatment on offer.

The five individuals who have refused all treatment are men aged from 29-37 and were initially assessed by teleconference or video.

They included a man suffering from stomach inflammation and abdominal pain; another experiencing bowel inflammation and dermatitis as well as the man who claimed an ongoing dental con­dition had prevented him from ­eating.

The other two cases involved a man suffering from a urological condition who refused medical and diagnostic scans while the fifth man also claimed he had gum and dental infections that had negatively affected his appearance.

Former immigration minister Kevin Andrews told The Australian: “The level of rejection and partial rejection of treatments clearly indicates that the scheme is being gamed.”

The government needs four crossbench votes to pass its planned medivac repeal, but will not win over the Centre Alliance, which holds two upper house seats.

Centre Alliance senator Stirling Griff told The Australian he was not convinced the numbers of transferees who were partially or completely rejecting medical treatment under the legislation was a compelling reason to repeal the new law.

“You can have the same situation in a suburb of Canberra,” he said. “They need treatment and they opt not to take it. It’s ­really no different.”

“If they came here in the first instance, they were assessed by doctors.”

Under the medivac legislation, an Independent Health Advice Panel has the final say on who can be transferred to Australia on medical grounds.

The panel is made up of representatives from the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian and New Zealand ­College of Psychiatrists and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

A Senate estimates hearing was informed last month that fewer than one in 10 refugees and ­asylum-seekers transferred to Australia under the medivac laws had required hospital treatment.

The Australian understands the number of refugees and ­asylum-seekers in hospital — after being transferred — has fluctuated from zero to one a day.


Australia Day celebrations could soon be SCRAPPED in parts of Sydney because mayor claims January 26 'marks the onset of colonisation and cultural destruction'

More tiresome virtue signalling

Australia Day celebrations in parts of Sydney could be scrapped in favour of an  Aboriginal festival.

Sydney's Inner West Council is expected to vote on a motion next week that would move Australia Day events from January 26.

The proposal comes after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton ordered that any council that refuses to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day will not be allowed to hold them at all.

Labor Mayor Darcy Byrne told the Sydney Morning Herald the council plans to move its annual Enmore Park celebrations to a different date, but would continue to hold citizenship ceremonies.

'We're seeking to take a more respectful approach to January 26 and acknowledge that for Aboriginal people it marks the onset of colonisation, dispossession, the removal of children and the deliberate destruction of language and culture,' Mr Byrne said.

'There's a growing number of local communities and people across Australia that think the 26th of January should be a commemoration not a celebration and the ongoing hurt that Aboriginal people feel shouldn't be exacerbated through fireworks and festivals.'

This would also stop it from interfering with the Aboriginal festival Yabun, which celebrates Aboriginal and Torrest Strait Islander culture.

Yabun involves musical performances, stalls, community gatherings and is held in nearby Camperdown on the same day.

The proposal is set to go to a vote on Tuesday and is expected to pass with the support of Labor councillors and the Greens.

But independent Victor Macri claimed the community had not been properly consulted regarding the plan.

'We're the party capital of Sydney and now we want to scrap Australia Day?' Mr Macri said.

Mr Macri claims the community will be disappointed if the Australia Day celebration is moved, as it is always a big day for families.

The Inner West Council first debated scrapping the celebrations last year following a Greens-led campaign to change the date.

The debate over changing the date has raged for years, with the phrase 'Happy Australia Day' coming under fire earlier this year.

Kado Muir, an Aboriginal culture, heritage and awareness advocate, said the phrase 'Happy Australia Day' was an 'ignorant gesture'.

He called on Australians to rise above the 'base destructive emotions' in the debate and instead shift focus onto the aspects that unite the country.

Critics have argued that this day marked the beginning of great suffering and torment for indigenous people and should not be celebrated.

Other indigenous Australians, who trace their lineage on the continent back 50,000 years, refer to January 26 as 'Invasion Day', the start of Britain's colonisation of Aboriginal lands.

In April, journalist Stan Grant said that moving Australia Day would be pointless because some of his fellow indigenous people are 'wedded to grievance'.

Grant, an award-winning journalist of Aboriginal heritage, addressed the issue in a piece published in an edition of The Weekend Australian magazine.

He argued that changing the date of Australia Day might leave January 26 as a day honoured by white chauvinists and risked making the national day more divisive.

Grant added that some Aboriginal people would not be satisfied with the date change either because resentment was part of their 'identities'.

In November last year, Mr Dutton threatened that any council that refused to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day would not be allowed to hold them at all.

'I don't care whether people are seeking to move it in an obvious way or playing games - the intent is very clear,' he told 2GB Radio at the time.

'The rules are pretty clear. If they're not going to abide by it, then they'll find themselves without the ability to conduct the ceremony.' 

An overwhelming majority of Australians reject calls for the country's national day to be moved from January 26, according to poll findings earlier this year.

Polling commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs, a conservative think-tank, showed just 10 per cent of 1,000 people surveyed want to change the date of Australia Day.

Young Australians were even less welcoming to the idea of moving the date from January 26, which many indigenous Australians view as Invasion Day.   

'Only eight per cent of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 say Australia Day should not be celebrated on 26 January,' the IPA's Dr Bella d'Abrera said.

'[It] proves that despite the media and political left narrative, young people are not drawn to the divisive argument of opposing our national day.'

A separate poll of 1,659 people, conducted by conservative lobby group Advance Australia, found 78 per cent of those surveyed were proud to celebrate Australia Day on January 26.

'The results are in - January 26 is not a day for division and protest, but rather a day for all Australians to celebrate,' the group's National Director, Gerard Benedet, said.

Many indigenous people find it offensive the date their ancestors lost their sovereignty to British colonialists is celebrated with a public holiday.


Militant vegans launch protest against a defiant butcher who called demonstrators 'maggots' while refusing to stop selling horse meat

A butcher is set to be hit with a wave of protests from vegans because he refuses to stop selling horse meat.  

Members of animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere will demonstrate outside Mr Garreffa's Mondo Butchers in Inglewood in Perth this Saturday.

'Mondo Butchers sells the bodies of murdered victims, yet the owner Vince preaches respect and courtesy toward other beings,' the group posted on Facebook.

'In his hypocrisy his actions toward the innocent are vile.'

They said that despite the ABC's report on racehorses being slaughtered on an 'industrial scale', Mr Mondo 'still decides to promote the demand for the slaughter of innocent horses and other animals'. 

'It's about time normalised violence, especially of this nature is acknowledged and contested. 'Come join us in pressuring society out of the dark ages and eradicating the businesses that uphold pre-evolved this mentality.'

But the butcher said that police and his lawyer will be notified before the militant vegans' planned rallies at his store this weekend.

'Through them doing this... it lifts the support of the community to us. They are just maggots. We'll see what eventuates,' he told the West Australian.

Direct Action Everywhere group leader James Warden and Mr Garreffa already came to blows in October on current affairs program Flashpoint.

During the debate, Mr Garreffa blasted Mr Warden and other vegan militants as 'malicious' for trespassing on farmers' properties.

'Those poor families that you've singled out, they're hurting more than ever when you've had a little win,' he said on the Channel 7 program.

The well-known butcher has been selling horse meat for human consumption for nearly a decade.

'It [horse meat] is available all over the world, in 20 different countries. We are butchers, we have what ever is legally available to the public. 'People take great pride in my shop.'

Saturday's proposed protest won't be the first time vegan militants will storm a butcher in Perth.

Last month protesters lined up outside Tenderwest Meats in Perth's Belmont Forum and shouted at passing customers with a megaphone.

'They never wanted to die for you,' the group's leader yelled while his followers held up signs showing animals in slaughterhouses.

Last month, the explosive two-year investigation by the ABC's 7.30 revealed that an alarming number of retired thoroughbreds are being killed for meat for human consumption.

Racing Australia's official data claims about 34 racehorses every year end up at slaughterhouses, a figure amounting to less than one per cent of retiring horses.

But Elio Celotto from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses told the ABC that about 4,000 racehorses had been killed in one abattoir alone.

That abattoir - located in Queensland's south-east - has been the focus of the broadcaster's investigation and was infiltrated with hidden cameras. The cameras showed that in just 22 days, more than 300 racehorses, who won $5million in prize money combined, were killed.


Wrong to go fishing?

Where will it end?

A furious woman has gone on an extraordinary rant and unleashed on a pair of fisherman while she was feeding ducks popcorn.

The fishermen had just dropped a line into Ascot Waters, a marina in Perth, on Saturday when the woman turned on the men.

She was seen on video lecturing the pair and telling them that fishing in the marina was 'stupid'.

Yahoo News reported that the woman had claimed the men were potentially killing the local bird life and dumping fish hooks in the water.

'This is stupid, what you're doing is stupid because it's a bird sanctuary,' the unidentified woman said.

The woman sat next to one of the fishermen who continued to stay quiet and stare ahead, visibly uncomfortable by her actions.

The fisherman argued that he cleaned up after himself, which caused the women to become even more frustrated.

'You lie. About looking after the environment and [yet] you're standing there with a fishing rod in your hand,' she said.

One of the men questioned whether the woman had any experience in marine biology, which infuriated her further.

'I've got three degrees which is something you haven't got and been teaching for 45 years. Shut up,' she said in the man's face.

When he continued to question why she believed he didn't have the same experience, the woman said he was too young 'and too stupid'.

The woman continued to complain and said she works tirelessly to clean up the area, before she stormed off.


Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi ‘embarrassing’ on horses, trainer says

Choosing a Pakistani to comment on a great Australian tradition begets the ignorance you would expect

The trainer of Prince of Arran has lashed out a Greens senator who said she was “horrified” at the treatment of thoroughbred who placed second at the Melbourne Cup.

British trainer Charlie Fellowes told Senator Mehreen Faruqi on Twitter she was “embarrassing” and invited her to visit the thoroughbred in the western Melbourne suburb of Werribee.

“(Your) lack of knowledge on horse racing is embarrassing,” he said on Twitter. “Come to Werribee tomorrow and I will personally introduce you to Prince of Arran. “You will quickly realise that he is not abused, in pain, or suffering. “Like every horse in my stable he is loved more than any household pet.”

Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi, who is the party’s spokeswoman for animal welfare, is calling for a royal commission into animal cruelty in the horse racing industry.

“When animals and gambling mix, animals always suffer,” she declared in a statement released on Tuesday night after jockey Michael Walker was fined $10,000 and received a seven-meeting ban for excessively whipping Prince Arran and Rostropovich suffered a fractured pelvis.

Racing Victoria said Rostropovich is expected to recover from the stress fracture and the gelding is receiving care at the Werribee Equine Clinic.

“The David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained gelding is in a stable condition, comfortable and receiving the best veterinary care,” Racing Victoria said in a statement.

Dozens of anti-racing activists protested outside the Melbourne Cup outside Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday.

The protesters held pictures of dead horses emblazoned with “Is the party worth it?” and yelled “Nup to the Cup” at punters as they entered.

The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses organised a ‘human horse race’ that ran at the same time as official Melbourne Cup day races, including the main event at 3pm, at the nearby Kensington Reserve.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


6 November, 2019

New Study Finds Women Aren’t as Funny as Men

A new study has found that women aren’t as funny as men. I know, hard to believe.

The study, published by the Journal of Research in Personality, asked subjects to write a funny caption for a cartoon that was then judged by a panel of judges.

Researchers found that 63 per cent of men were deemed to be funnier than the average woman.

The study included over 5500 participants, 67 per cent of whom were women, eliminating and in fact overcompensating for any potential gender bias. It also involved a third-party evaluation of the subjects by someone who was not aware of the subject’s gender.

“It means that to the best of our knowledge, on average, men appear to have higher humor production ability than women,” said Gil Greengross, an evolutionary psychologist at Aberystwyth University in Wales.

She also noted that “a great sense of humor” was one of the signals of mate quality when it comes to females choosing a man.

“Humor is strongly correlated with intelligence, which explains why women value men with a great sense of humor, as intelligence was crucial for survival throughout our evolutionary history when we mostly lived in hunter-gatherer groups,” said Greengross.

Christopher Hitchens was right.


PIERS MORGAN: If ‘Saint’ John Legend’s so worried about inappropriate song lyrics, why doesn’t he leave Baby It’s Cold Outside alone and rewrite all the far more sexist and misogynist filth spewed by his rapper friends?

My favorite festive holiday song is 'Baby It's Cold Outside.'

Immortalized in the 1949 movie Neptune's Daughter, it's a joyous celebration of flirtation, as a handsome charming man tries to persuade a beautiful charming woman to stay with him on a wintry night.

There's nothing sleazy about it, or nasty, or even remotely 'problematic' to quote the ghastly buzzword of modern day political correctness.

It's fun, sexy, playful, and both the man and woman are completely in control of their own actions during the mutually enjoyable and totally consensual experience.

This is a scene that has played out many billions of times in the history of our great planet. It's called seduction.

And that process only becomes something sinister or even criminal when a woman is being forced to do something she doesn't want to do.

That is not the case in Baby It's Cold Outside.

It was written by U.S. songwriter Frank Loesser to sing with his wife Lynn Garland at their housewarming party in New York.

The original lyrics included these lines:

'My mother will start to worry.. (Man: 'Beautiful, what's your hurry?')

'The neighbors might think.. (Man: 'Baby it's cold out there.')

'Say what's in this drink?' (Man: 'No cabs to be had out there..')

To 99.9% of all those who've ever heard these lyrics, particularly in context of the film clip, they are perfectly sweet and innocent.

But to the 0.00001% of super-woke, permanently offended virtue-signalers out there, this is in fact a sickening depiction of sexual harassment or even sexual assault.

To them, the man's obviously a disgusting monster, refusing to understand that no means no, who has slipped some kind of Bill Cosby-style drug into the woman's drink in an effort to render her unconscious so he can attack her.

This ridiculous narrative, started by a few angry feminists a few years ago, reached a crescendo in the wake of the #MeToo scandal that erupted after the exposure of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

By late 2018, radio stations began banning the song altogether, led by WDOK Star 102 in Cleveland, Ohio, which attributed its decision to the 'lyric content, based on listener input, amid the #MeToo movement.'

The public, gloriously, reacted by marching out to buy Dean Martin's iconic version of the song in such huge numbers it rocketed back into the Billboard chart, with sales surging 70% thanks to the furore.

You might think this would be the end of the matter.

But sadly, it wasn't.

In fact, it was just the start because singer John Legend, who along with his publicity-mad swimsuit model wife Chrissy Teigen, is Hollywood's self-appointed Virtue-Signaler-In-Chief, decided the original version of Baby It's Cold Outside is so despicable the lyrics must be rewritten for the #MeToo era.

So that's what he's now done, writing a new version with Insecure comedian Natasha Rothwell that he performs with Kelly Clarkson.

The new lyrics include:

'I really can't stay (Man: 'Baby, it's cold outside…')

'I've gotta go away (Man: 'I can call you a ride..')

'This evening has been (Man: 'So glad you dropped in..)

'So very nice (Man: 'Time spent with you is paradise..)

'My mother will start to worry (Man: 'I'll call a car and tell 'em to hurry.)

'What will my friends think?' (Man: 'I think they should rejoice..')

'If I have one more drink..' (Man: 'It's your body, and your choice..')

What a load of nauseating PC-crazed tripe.

At this stage, it's worth remembering how Mr Legend himself first got together with Ms Teigen.

They met on the set of his music video for the song 'Stereo'.

He was the most powerful man on set, the star and therefore effectively, the boss. She was an impressionable 21-year-old model hired to work alongside him.

Ms Teigen told Cosmo several years later: 'I walked into John's dressing room to meet him and he was ironing in his underwear. I said, 'you do your own ironing?' He said, 'Of course I do.' I gave him a hug.'

After the shoot, she says they went back to his hotel room and 'hooked up'.


I'm not an expert on the whiter-than-white standards of super-woke behavior, but by Legend and Teigen's own yardstick, isn't every part of this story highly 'problematic'?

Older, powerful boss sleeping with young employee after they work together?

The CEO of McDonald's just got fired for doing exactly that.

And when it comes to rewriting inappropriate lyrics, why did Legend pick on Baby It's Cold Outside?

After all, it pales into insignificance compared to the shockingly sexist and misogynist lyrics of so many current rap and pop stars.

Snoop Dogg sang: 'B*itches ain't sh*t but hoes and tricks, lick on these nuts and suck the d*ck.'

Kanye West sang: 'I know she like chocolate men, she got more n***** off than Cochran.'

Eminem sang: 'Sl*t, you think I won't choke no w***e, til the vocal cords don't work in her throat no more.'

And as for Pharrell Williams' Blurred Lines collaboration with Robin Thicke, he's since admitted the lyrics including 'I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it' were 'rapey' .

Yet John Legend hasn't suggested rewriting any of these songs.

Why could that be?

Oh wait, it's because they're all performed by his good friends?


Anger as Hong Kong-themed cake barred from competition

An international cake decorating competition is at the centre of a “political censorship” row after a Hong Kong protest-themed entry was disqualified amid claims it was “offensive”.

The cake, entered by staff from a café in Hong Kong, featured protest symbols including umbrellas and a Guy Fawkes mask and was put on display at the Cake International competition held at the Birmingham NEC over the weekend.

The bakers from 3rd Space café had travelled from the territory to the UK for the event and had to rebuild it from scratch after it was damaged on the way over, only for it to be disqualified.

Competition organisers said one element of the cake was oversized but the company behind the cake said that it was pulled after complaints from Chinese competitors.

For five months Hong Kong has been the scene of anti-government protests triggered by a controversial bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China. It has since been withdrawn but the protests have continued amid wider anger over the way Hong Kong is administered by Beijing.

The disqualified entry included fake tear gas and a protester dressed in black and wearing a hard hat. The cake was also decorated with yellow umbrellas and the baker had also placed a music box inside the cake playing “Glory to Hong Kong”, the unofficial anthem of the protests.

Cake International first told the bakers to turn the music off before sending them an email telling them that the cake would be “removed” because of complaints.

“The content and message behind the cake has been viewed as offensive and led to complaints from attendees, therefore the decision has been taken to withdraw it from the competition,” the email said.

The owner of the café said the cake was inspired by the “streets of Hong Kong” but apparently Chineses competitors had claimed it was offensive for “promoting” the territory.

In a post on Instagram, the café said: “Today, some of us have been arrested, and some of us who have travelled far to the UK for a contest have been disqualified. We feel displeased and outraged, but we will still be ourselves. We will make an appeal. Even if the final result won’t be satisfactory, we will bother to tell you, you are wrong.”

The café later said that the claim the cake was oversized was just an “excuse” to remove the cake. “It is extremely disappointing to see this happening in the UK,” the owner said. “We got the inspirations from the streets in Hong Kong in the past five months. It’s not about politics, it’s about the way to live.”

The owner added that on the same day the cake was disqualified one of the café’s staff was arrested and that Chinese competitors had broadcast their complaints on the social media site Weibo. The owner said the pressure had forced the organiser to “give in”, while other cakes criticising regimes such as Donald Trump and North Korea were allowed to stay.

The café has been supportive of protesters in recent months, encouraging them to wear masks and treating them to cups of coffee.

Dozens of Hong Kong supports have supported the café on social media. “This is the best cake I’ve ever seen,” said one. “Thank you. Your cake is very beautiful, and it’s in our hearts,” said another, while others suggested the cake should go on sale in Hong Kong.

Cake International said the cake was removed due to complaints, and added that there had been threats to damage it.

It later said that the cake was separately disqualified as one of its elements, a fondant umbrella, had hung over the “allowed area”.

In a full statement, it said: “We wish to clarify that the difficult decision to remove the piece from the competition area was due to complaints about its content, with some threatening to damage the piece. We have judged this entry based on the cake decorating skills and not the subject matter; unfortunately it was ‘not to schedule’ for that category as it states in the rules ‘No part of the exhibit can overhang the allowed area. Oversized exhibits will be disqualified.’

“Cake International is an inclusive community and welcomes entries from across the world. This competition entry was not removed as a political statement but was disqualified as a direct result of it not being made in line with our competition schedule.”


Feminist poison on Australia's ABC

Since they endorse violence in pursuit of their aims, perhaps I can respond in kind by saying that I would be happy to see the lot of then burn at the stake

The ABC has come under fire after Q&A panellists called for rapists to be killed, labelled Scott Morrison a 'white supremacist' and said police forces should be abolished in an extraordinary programme on Monday night.

The show, featuring a panel of five women and host Fran Kelly, provoked outrage on social media, with hundreds of viewers calling for the ABC to have its funding cut.

The controversy began when a member of the audience asked if aggression and violence were the best ways for feminists to achieve equality.

Outspoken Egyptian-American writer Mona Eltahawy, who dominated the show, replied by endorsing violence and saying that women should kill rapists.

She said: 'I want patriarchy to fear feminism… how long must we wait for men and boys to stop murdering us, to stop beating us and to stop raping us? How many rapists must we kill until men stop raping us?'

Host Fran Kelly then referenced a tweet by Spectator Australia which asked: 'Why is the ABC justifying violence?'

She said: 'So Mona... Spectator Australia is already saying Mona's promoting violence. Is that what you're doing?'

Ms Eltawahy replied: 'What I'm doing is saying that that violence has been owned by the state… exactly how long do I have to wait to be safe?'

The person who asked the question challenged the panel by suggesting that violence was not the best approach, saying: 'Bullying begets bullying and violence begets violence'.

Journalist and author Jess Hill then chimed in to support Ms Eltawahy's argument that violence is necessary.

She said: 'If anyone's shocked by what Mona's suggesting, you just have to look back to history, and a certain faction of the suffragettes… they used violence. They thought what they were fighting was a civil war between the sexes.'

Indigenous writer and activist Nayuka Gorrie also appeared to advocate violence, saying: 'When you say violence begets violence, it's almost sounding like it's a level playing field which it's not.'

'It's absolutely not… I wonder what our kind of tipping point in Australia's going to be when people will start burning stuff? I look forward to it.'

Commenting on Australia's colonial history, she added: 'We've tried for 230-plus years to appeal to the colonisers' morality, which just doesn't seem to exist.

'I think violence is OK because if someone is trying to kill you, there's no amount of, "But I'm really clever. I'm really articulate". No amount of that is going to save you. Let's burn stuff.'

The comments immediately sparked fury on social media as hundreds of viewers were left shocked by such brazen support for violence.

One viewer wrote: 'Violence is never an option and if the ABC insists on pushing violent rhetoric, I will have to insist Scott Morrison pulls funding from the ABC and rescind's their broadcasting licence.'

Another added: 'The ABC is promoting violence? It wouldn’t be first time.'

In another shocking section of the show, Ms Eltawahy called the Prime Minister a white supremacist. 'Your Prime Minister here is a mini version of Donald Trump - because we're talking about white supremacists capitalists,' she said. 'Your Prime Minister is a white evangelical Christian like Mike Pence in the US so you're on a parallel path here.'

Ms Eltawahy then attacked the government over Mr Morrison's proposal to outlaw environmental boycott campaigns.

'When you start talking about banning boycotts, you have to ask what is happening to your so-called democracy,' she said.

Another controversial moment came when the panel discussed Tanya Day, an aboriginal woman who was arrested for being drunk in public and died in a police cell in 2017.

Responding to a question about how institutions can be better held to account for racism, Ms Gorrie said the police service should be shut down. 'Its very formation was to serve the interest of white sovereignty in this country,' she said.

'When we're talking about accountability, I'm not sure how far we can go in keeping an organisation like the police to account because it is there to be violent'. 'It's patriarchal, it's overwhelmingly white. I think it shouldn't exist.'

The show also came under fire for repeated use of foul language, which prompted Kelly to say: 'We are trying to keep the language under control. If you're offended by the profanity, maybe leave now.'

Shortly afterwards, in the section about police racism, Ms Eltawahy made no effort to moderate her words, saying: 'You're asking the person here who travels the world to say f*** the patriarchy.'



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


5 November, 2019  

Justice: Antifa Thug Who Busted a Man's Head Open Gets Nearly 6 Years in Prison

This past June, masked thugs organized under the banner of anti-fascism, or "antifa," and beat up conservative journalist Andy Ngo and others in Portland, Ore. In one particularly gruesome attack, local conservative Adam Kelly got his head busted open with a baton. He suffered a concussion and needed 25 staples to close the wounds. Gage Halupowski, the 24-year-old man who pleaded guilty to second-degree assault in the attack, was sentenced to 70 months (5.83 years) in prison on Friday.

"Antifa militant Gage Halupowski sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison for striking a man on head from behind w/a baton during riot," Ngo tweeted, sharing the breaking news Friday evening. "He was masked at the time & assaulted an officer while trying to escape. His lawyer says sentence is too severe."

Ngo shared images of Kelly's head after the baton attack.

Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Melissa Marrero said both Kelly and Halupowski were lucky the conservative victim survived his injuries. She described the attack as "completely unexplainable, completely avoidable and didn't need to happen," Oregon Live reported.

As Ngo said, Halupowski's attorney Edward Kroll attacked the nearly six-year sentence, calling it "one of the harshest sentences I've seen for someone with no criminal background and young age." Kroll admitted that Halupowski had made "a really terrible decision" and acknowledged that the antifa thug had been captured on camera, but he claimed that at least two other people hit Kelly with batons, as well.

Conservative Journalist Andy Ngo Beaten Up and Hit With Cement by Antifa in Portland, Says Police Did Nothing
Marrero defended the sentence as appropriate due to the nature of Kelly's injuries. She noted that first-degree assault — which carried a potential 90-month sentence — and riot charges were initially considered in the case. Halupowski may have gotten off easy. She also insisted that another person has been indicted and more people are under investigation for the same attack and other attacks in the June 29 demonstrations.

"My office has individuals charged on both sides of the political spectrum," Marrero said. "We are not picking sides based on political affiliation, political views or anything like that."

Indeed, a harsh sentence for antifa thugs who cause this kind of injury should have nothing to do with politics. These rioters claim that their actions are justified because they are "punching fascists." They demonize their political opponents by comparing them to Hitler and then engage in the kind of red-shirt tactics the fascists and other totalitarians employed to take power. Anyone who violently assaults other people should face legal consequences, and political ideals are no defense for criminal activity.

Furthermore, it seems Kelly was coming to the defense of a man who was himself coming to the defense of an innocent bystander who had a personal dispute with some antifa activists.

As Oregon Live reported in July, local man Sam Resnick said he was walking toward a Starbucks when antifa activists shouted slurs at him and shoved him. He knew them from a "simmering personal dispute with them" but seems not to have instigated the altercation. They attempted to punch him and "someone put their hands on me" from behind, he said.

Another man, later identified as John Blum tried to pull Resnick's assailants back, saying, "We don't do that here." According to Resnick, "the mob just started attacking" Blum for his attempt to prevent violence. Yet other videos have shown Blum holding a black baton himself.

Once Blum was surrounded, getting struck multiple times in the head, Kelly came to his aid, himself getting struck repeatedly in the head with one or more batons.

A GoFundMe fundraiser raised $14,317 to pay for Kelly's medical care after the assault.

Liberals who go on and on about the threats of white supremacy should also condemn antifa violence. Attacks like this are despicable, and Americans should condemn political violence, no matter the motivation.


Trump and Officers Blast Chicago's Top Cop

President Donald Trump visited Chicago on Monday to speak at the conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Controversy preceded Trump’s visit when Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson publicly declared that he would boycott the president’s speech. Johnson self-righteously asserted, “As police officers, our job is to be the voice for the voiceless and ambassadors to the communities that we serve. I can’t in good conscience stand by while racial insults and hatred are cast from the Oval Office or Chicago is held hostage because of our views on new Americans.”

Johnson was referring to Chicago’s “sanctuary city” policy, which he fully embraces. But he erroneously and intentionally conflates legal immigrants, who can actually become “new Americans,” with illegal aliens, who are by definition law-breaking non-Americans. The irony is stupefying — the city’s top law-enforcement officer, whose primary role is to serve and protect the citizens of the city, is blatantly promoting lawlessness. With attitudes like this, is it any wonder that Democrat-run Chicago is notorious for its high crime rate?

Johnson’s virtue signal was so offensive that even Chicago’s own members of the Fraternal Order of Police voiced their opposition with a vote of “no confidence,” while FOP President Kevin Graham issued a statement deriding Johnson’s self-serving false narrative. “[Donald Trump] is the president of the United States,” he said. “There are plenty of times I’ve sat listening to speeches that I didn’t care for, and I certainly didn’t walk out on them.” Graham also noted how ATF agents have been a big help to “prosecute [violations of] our gun laws because our local prosecutor hasn’t done the job.” That federal help has “driven down the crime,” he said. “Last month we took a thousand [illegal] guns off the street. Last month alone.”

As for Trump’s speech, he loudly condemned Chicago’s feckless Democrat leaders over their refusal to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement: “Chicago is, unfortunately, the worst sanctuary city in America. Chicago protects criminals at a level few could even imagine. Last year, in Cook County alone, ICE asked local law-enforcement people to ‘…Please detain 1,162 people. Please.’ But in each case, the detainer was denied.” Trump then took aim at Johnson: “People like Johnson put criminals and illegal aliens before the citizens of Chicago. … And, frankly, those values, to me, are a disgrace. I will never put the needs of illegal criminals before … the needs of law-abiding citizens.”

Finally, Trump added, “So when Eddie Johnson, and many other people from lots of other regions and areas, support sanctuary cities, it’s really, in my opinion, a betrayal of their oath to the shield, and a violation of his duty to serve and to protect the courageous police officers of Chicago.” Trump is correct. While Johnson’s virtue signal is cheered by anti-Trump leftists and open-border advocates, everyday Americans are rejoicing in the fact that the president is honestly calling out the corruption and hypocrisy in the Windy City.


Trump Administration Proposes Rule Protecting Faith-Based Adoption Agencies

he Trump administration has always been an advocate for religious liberty, and on Friday they reaffirmed that commitment by proposing rolling back an Obama-era rule that denied federal funding to foster care and adoption groups that exclude LGBT parents—which would be a huge win for faith-based organizations and the First Amendment.

The White House says the rule from the Department of Health and Human Services is needed to remove barriers that prevent some nonprofits from helping vulnerable people in their communities. It would apply to a broad range of organizations that receive federal support, such as those that get federal funding to help the homeless or prevent HIV. But the focus from supporters and detractors Friday was on foster care and adoption services.
Under the proposed rule, HHS would redo an Obama-era rule that included sexual orientation as a protected trait under anti-discrimination protections.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said that restricting the work of faith-based organizations, as the Obama rule threatened to do, was unfair and serves no one, “especially the children in need of those services.”

The Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group, said charities would no longer have to choose between “abandoning their faith or abandoning homeless children.”

“Thanks to President Trump, charities will be free to care for needy children and operate according to their religious beliefs and the reality that children do best in a home with a married mom and dad,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

While the rule change wouldn't prevent these agencies from including LGBT parents if they want to, there was still plenty of outrage from the left. “It is outrageous that the Trump administration would mark the start of National Adoption Month by announcing a rule to further limit the pool of loving homes available to America’s 440,000 foster children,” said Julie Kruse, of Family Equality. “The American public overwhelmingly opposes allowing taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away qualified parents simply because they are in a same-sex relationship.”

Studies on the issue of same-sex parenting have shown that children do best with a mother and a father in the household. A large study published in 2014 found that children of same-sex couples are significantly more likely to experience emotional problems.


Judge strikes down gun laws enacted in wake of Pittsburgh synagogue massacre

A Pennsylvania judge Tuesday struck down three gun control ordinances enacted by the city of Pittsburgh after the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue last year, saying that state law prevented the city from regulating firearms.

The ordinances, announced in December, include an assault weapons ban, a ban on large-capacity magazines, and a measure that empowered courts to stop people from possessing firearms if they posed an imminent threat to themselves or others.

But Judge Joseph M. James of Allegheny County said in his opinion in the Court of Common Pleas that state law “preempts any local regulation pertaining to the regulation of firearms,” despite the “large amount of energy” the city put into arguing that its ordinances were lawful.

James’s decision came just two days after the first anniversary of the massacre. On Oct. 27, 2018, a gunman opened fire at the synagogue and killed 11 people after the authorities said he had spewed anger toward Jews and immigrants online.

The decision also came as local officials nationwide are increasingly pushing back against similar state-imposed restrictions on the ability of cities and counties to enact gun control policies. As of late last year, 43 states had preemption laws that bar local governments from enacting nearly any gun regulation that would go beyond state law.

Joshua Prince, a lawyer for the gun rights groups and others who sued the city, said James’s decision showed that Mayor Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, who championed the measures, and the City Council are “neither above the law nor a special class of citizens that may violate the law with impunity.”

“The city’s gun control sought to eviscerate the inviolate right of the residents of the commonwealth to keep and bear arms and ensnare law-abiding citizens through a patchwork of laws,” he said in a statement Tuesday.

Peduto said on Twitter that the city planned to appeal James’s decision.

“The city and its outside legal counsel have always expected this would be a long legal fight, and will continue to fight for the right to take common-sense steps to prevent future gun violence,” Timothy McNulty, a spokesman for the city, said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday night. “We will appeal.”

The measures were announced in December and immediately faced pushback from gun rights groups.

In January, the Allegheny County district attorney, Stephen A. Zappala, wrote a letter to a City Council member stating that he did not believe the council had the authority to pass the legislation and even suggested that council members who voted in favor of it could be prosecuted.

Peduto signed the ordinances into law in April. Three gun rights groups — the Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearm Owners Against Crime, and Firearms Policy Foundation — and three individuals quickly sued.

The Court of Common Pleas stayed the ordinances in May as the case proceeded.

In an interview with CityLab in February, Peduto said he was aware of the legal hurdles the city faced.

“But we feel we have to do something to change the temperature in Harrisburg,” Peduto said, referring to the state capital of Pennsylvania. “If this were to be followed by 50 other cities around Pennsylvania doing the same thing, it puts the pressure on the state legislators to act. We feel it’s worth the legal fight.”

He said that he believed the US Constitution gave the residents of Pittsburgh and other cities the right to “domestic tranquillity” that is taken away by gun violence, referring to a line in the Constitution’s preamble.

“So there’s this realization that it’s an uphill battle, but it’s a battle that has to happen, and it has to start somewhere,” Peduto told CityLab. “I really do believe it’s going to happen by cities saying enough’s enough.”

He added, “If you’re going to try and stop us from doing it ourselves, we’re going to go to court and we’re going to do it over and over until common sense prevails.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


4 November, 2019

UK: First arrest and prosecution for praying in public case collapses after bungled police investigation

Christian Hacking, 29, was arrested by police after he was seen praying outside an abortion clinic in London earlier this year.

Mr Hacking, who uses a wheelchair after breaking his back during a climbing accident, was arrested and carried into a van by police officers after allegedly failing to comply with a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) outside a Marie Stopes abortion clinic in Ealing, west London.

The international charity, which supports women to have safe abortions, have criticised his “wilful non-compliance with the PSPO” and said that “nobody should face harassment” when accessing their services.

However the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which represented Mr Hacking, said that police bodycam footage of officers “carrying a disabled man and his wheelchair to a riot van, simply for praying, is deeply disturbing”. It also criticised the waste of “vital police resources” after charges against him were dropped.

The PSPO, put in place by Ealing Council in April 2018, was the first buffer zone surrounding an abortion clinic to be introduced in the UK. The exclusion zone, upheld by the Court of Appeal, bans a range of activities within 100m of the clinic - including outlawing prayer.

The PSPO states: ‘[people must not engage] in any act of approval/disapproval or attempted act of approval/disapproval, with respect to issues related to abortion services, by any means. This includes but is not limited to graphic, verbal or written means, prayer or counselling.’

Mr Hacking was arrested on August 8 and pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge of failing to comply with the PSPO. This marked the first case in modern times of arrest and prosecution for praying and he was set to stand trial on November 5 at Uxbridge Magistrates Court.

However, the case collapsed. Although police warned Mr Hacking, who works part time for CBR UK (Center for Bio-Ethical Reform), an American pro-life organisation, they failed to caution him when they intended to arrest him. Instead, they only cautioned Mr Hacking when he was already in the police van.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) sent him a letter stating that the charges were being dropped because there was not ‘enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction’.

Furthermore, the letter added: “The issue of caution being administered at the end of being arrested undermines the prosecution case.”

Police bodycam footage reveals a police officer telling Mr Hacking: "l'm saying you're in breach of the court order,” when he asked for clarification as exactly what he had done wrong.

Mr Hacking then responded: "So it's a criminal offence to pray, according to the court order, it's a criminal offence to pray outside of a place where children are being killed?" The officer then stated:  "I believe that I've given you the answer."

Officers then failed to caution MR Hacking before his arrest.

A Marie Stopes UK spokesperson said: “Nobody should face harassment when accessing a legal, confidential health service, and the Safe Zone around the Marie Stopes West London clinic rightly prohibits a range of activities within 100metres, including prayer. 

“It is disappointing to see wilful non-compliance with the PSPO fail to result in prosecution, however, the Ealing Safe Zone remains a vital measure to ensure anyone accessing abortion services has consistent and necessary protection from intimidation and harassment, and we continue to call for similar protections to be introduced across the UK.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “A 29-year-old man was charged in August 2019 with failing to comply with a public space protection order following an incident in Ealing. The matter was subsequently discontinued.”

A CPS spokeswoman said: “We have a duty to keep cases under continuous review and, following a further assessment, we concluded there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.”


Former Time Magazine Editor Is Wrong. America Doesn’t Need ‘Hate Speech’ Laws.

Will someone in our free press stand up for free speech?

Just as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been harangued by politicians and legacy media journalists about not doing more to censor speech on his social media platform, an opinion column Tuesday in The Washington Post called for passing “hate speech” laws that take direct aim at undermining the suddenly problematic First Amendment.

Richard Stengel, a former editor at Time magazine who then served as the State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs under President Barack Obama, argued that the First Amendment is outdated and that America’s unique protection for free speech just doesn’t work anymore.

Stengel wrote that while traveling the world and “championing the virtues of free speech,” he “came to see how our First Amendment standard is an outlier.”

Yes, the First Amendment is an “outlier,” and for that, we should be incredibly thankful as Americans. It is undoubtedly a cornerstone of American exceptionalism.

Not for Stengel, however.

“Even the most sophisticated Arab diplomats that I dealt with did not understand why the First Amendment allows someone to burn a Koran,” he wrote. “Why, they asked me, would you ever want to protect that?”

As the Washington Examiner’s Becket Adams wrote, Stengel seems to be saying that he looks favorably on anti-blasphemy laws.

Stengel wrote that our broad protections of free speech, which allow “hate speech”—however one may define that—“diminishes tolerance” and “enables discrimination.”

“Isn’t that, by definition, speech that undermines the values that the First Amendment was designed to protect: fairness, due process, equality before the law?” he asked.

The short answer to that long question is: No.

The First Amendment—really, the freedom of speech and freedom of the press more broadly—is necessary not to promote “fairness,” but to help us find the truth.

The Founders—though they disagreed about much else—widely understood that no individual and certainly no government is the bearer of all truth. A free society protects those means to pursue the truth, which necessarily means also protecting speech and ideas that are “wrong” or “hateful.”

As many on Twitter noted, shame on the media for eagerly embracing the idea that the First Amendment is, perhaps, a bad thing and for not responding with a robust defense of the freedoms that make their work possible.

In numerous places around the globe, governments have begun cracking down on hate speech and free speech, setting up government commissions to ultimately decide what is “real” and what is “fake” for the people.

Stengel argues that hate speech laws are designed for the government to prevent hate and terrorism, but what if the governing authorities themselves promote such evil? What then?

Whether under the jackboot authoritarianism of China or the soft despotism rising in Europe, these laws curtailing speech, and putting it under government authority, are ultimately harmful and destructive.

Stengel’s “fair marketplace of ideas” is not a free one. It is a euphemistic argument for inevitable tyranny.

Unfortunately, as a recent poll found, many Americans have come to think that the First Amendment needs a rewrite to fit the “changing cultural norms of today.”

That’s why we aren’t a pure democracy—and why we have laws and institutions that protect individual rights.

The freedom of speech, a God-given right protected by the Constitution, is not subject to revision because of changes in technology or culture. It is simply a timeless right of all men and women, though it has been frequently—and often ruthlessly—violated.

America’s culture of free speech and the First Amendment that protects it are incredible blessings that have been passed down and fostered by generations of self-governing people.

It’s too bad more people in institutions intended to protect these ideas are in fact undermining them.


Another Win for Blaine Adamson! This Time at the Kentucky Supreme Court

For over seven years, Blaine Adamson has been battling in court for the right to run his business consistently with his faith.

He’s faced many setbacks: boycotts against his promotional printing company, Hands On Originals; hateful emails, phone calls, and Facebook comments; and some customers even pulled their business. All of this because Blaine runs his business consistently with his faith.

But Blaine has also seen many triumphs. And today was another big win! The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled in favor of Blaine. Praise God!

It all started in 2012 when Blaine received a phone call from the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO). The group wanted Hands On Originals to print shirts promoting the local pride festival. Blaine determined that he could not print those shirts because they would express messages in conflict with his faith.

This wasn’t new for Blaine. He serves everyone, but he cannot express every message. Blane routinely declines requests for projects with messages that conflict with his beliefs. From 2010 to 2012 alone, Hands On Originals declined at least 13 orders because of their messages, including shirts with a violent message, shirts promoting a strip club, and pens supporting a sexually explicit video.

As he always does, Blaine offered to connect the GLSO with another print shop that he knew would create the shirts at the same price he would have charged. But that wasn’t enough for the GLSO.

The GLSO publicized Blaine’s decision, which led to protests and boycotts against Hands On Originals. The group also filed a discrimination complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission, which ruled against Blaine and ordered him to undergo “diversity training” and print messages that conflict with his religious beliefs.

Blaine knew that this was a violation of his First Amendment rights to free speech and religious freedom. With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys, Blaine has been asking the courts to uphold his freedom to live and work consistently with his faith.

Two lower courts had already ruled for Blaine. And now, the Kentucky Supreme Court has too! The unanimous court said that the GLSO did not have a legal right to sue Hands On Originals.

If the government can force Blaine to support messages that violate his deeply held beliefs, then it can force anyone to do the same. This includes an LGBT printer who declines to create t-shirts criticizing same-sex marriage, a Democratic speechwriter who declines to write speeches for the Republican National Convention, or a Muslim singer who declines to sing Christian songs at a concert.

Protecting these freedoms is vital to us all. Because if we want freedom for ourselves, we must extend it to others—even those with whom we disagree.

The Kentucky Supreme Court didn’t directly address the broader First Amendment questions concerning Blaine’s right to live and work consistently with his faith. But we are committed to defending that freedom.


Don't demean, ignore or dismiss dads' daily devotion

Chris Kenny writes from Australia, using British/Australian idioms, where "bloke" = "man"

My daddy blog could be a major hit, generating millions of hits and thousands of dollars as fathers flock to read think pieces on the hardships of being a dad, swap tips on coping with the work/family balance, and share a whinge about how their wives don't understand.

Or perhaps not generally speaking, blokes just aren't into this. Eavesdrop on a walk around the park or at the cafe and you'll know women discuss these life and relationship issues endlessly, swapping ideas and supporting each other.

Blokes tend not to; we are wired differently. Sure, some might be outraged that I've made such a generalisation, and yes, there will be exceptions to prove the rule, but we all recognise the essential truth here. This is not a value judgment, it is
just reflecting reality.

The reason I mention this is because I think fathers get a bad rap. Fatherhood seems undervalued. It is constantly measured against motherhood — if only mothers could have wives, if only fathers did what mothers do — and fatherhood always comes up short.

There seems to be an underlying resentment that motherhood can be different to fatherhood, that fathers seem to get it easy, and so fatherhood can be diminished. Yet fathers have never done more, nor been more flexible and involved in parenting arrangements.

Fathers do brilliant work every day, something that should be celebrated, nurtured and encouraged rather than dismissed or derided. Motherhood and fatherhood, are different, obviously, equal but different

Thanks to technology and changing social norms there is now a high level of flexibility around shared responsibilities. Sure, as a father of four, I have a dog in this fight. But believe me this is not a competition. There is not a father alive who is not in awe of mothers and motherhood. Most mothers work miracles daily, their physical and emotional energy and endurance make the world go around and their juggling of parental responsibilities and careers is extraordinary.

We hear a lot about this in books, on websites, in newspapers and magazines and on television and radio, where mothers are supported, celebrated and encouraged. This is all to the good — I am not averse to dipping into this genre to enlighten myself.

But this column is about dads. In our age of priestly pedophile scandals, predatory criminals and gender quotas, we should not forget that to improve options for women and protect children we need to leverage the good works of fathers, not diminish them in campaigns against toxic masculinity or outdated gender stereotypes.

Where biology once determined a divide in duties between mothers and fathers, it plays a much smaller role now, with couples able to swap or share almost all tasks. Yet, surely, just as we shouldn't be slaves to traditional roles, we don't need to be prescriptive about the future. Let us have our options and choose.

If, even in the most prosperous and enlightened of societies, most families opted for traditional roles, who would be so arrogant or ideological as to condemn their life choices?

In my household, both parents are busy with careers and the daily rush between drop-offs, pick-ups, cricket, footy, music, nippers and incidentals is as demanding as it is chaotic. As the dad, could I pay more attention to the logistics and perhaps do a little more of the cooking? Sure.

But fatherhood is not some blissful dream of unburdened genetic distribution. Halfway through drafting this column, on top of the usual pick-ups, meal preparations and bath duties, I discovered new-found skills in amateur make-up artistry and costume arrangements for Halloween hijinx.

Fatherhood is the school of lifelong learning. In her recent essay Men at Work, Annabel Crabb interrogated the differing expectations we have of fathers and mothers. She asked why we were so interested in how New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern would cope as a prime ministerial mum, yet were not fussed by how Scott Morrison would get his girls off to school in the mornings.

Quite obviously, our Prime Minister was not gestating, delivering and nursing a child, so there are biological imperatives that are unavoidable in this case. But Crabb makes a telling point when she asks:

"What I want to know is: why do we expect so little of fathers? Why do we fret so extensively about the impact on children of not seeing their mothers enough, but care so little about what happens when it's Dad who's always away? Do we think dads are just for weekends? 'Or are we simply so roundly prepared — based on what we see — for their absence that we neither mourn it nor remark on it?"

This is where we need that daddy blog. Families expect an enormous amount from dads, and dads expect everything from themselves. The daily strain is all about parenting, providing, presence and prioritising; surely most mothers see fathers in this daily juggling act. There are bad fathers, just as there are bad mothers, but my daily brushing of shoulders with dads over more than 30 years as a parent only fills me with optimism and admiration for what they do with and for their families.

Crabb used Morrison and Josh Frydenberg as the laboratory rats in her analysis. Their vocational demands and enforced absences make them extreme examples. Over the years, I have had private discussions with each of them about the joy and devotion of their parenthood. The absences of politics make family life difficult and most politicians know they won't do it forever. They work through shared responsibilities with husbands, wives and wider families, to cope as best they can.

For all that, they are no orphans. Many families across the country deal with one parent or another on night shift, flying in and out on a 10-day turnaround, or deployed overseas with defence forces. Most often it is dad who is away, but certainly not always.

This is what families do. We make choices and share burdens for the benefit of our family, not to fit the expectations of some progressive social experiment. Families do not exist to fulfil some idyllic Brave New World of non-gendered roles and cookie-cutter parenting. Families are dynamic organisms and, like snowflakes, all have different designs. Whether it is socially ingrained or deeply embedded in our DNA, like a mother's nurturing instincts, fathers feel a deep-seated responsibility to provide for their family. Most fathers would sooner endure any absence than stay home and feel they are failing their family.

"I'd always been quietly enraged by the interviews with female CEOs that start with the question of how they manage their families along with their jobs," wrote Crabb.

This intrigued me. As a dad, I have always wondered why on earth we don't get asked. It has never seemed patronising for women to be asked this question; how could it be belittling to be asked about something so vital to us?

Rather, it has always seemed insulting that men are spared the questions. Just because we don't blog about fatherhood, are we assumed to be uninterested? Like most fathers, I suspect, I think of myself first and foremost as a father. It is that role that defines me, to myself and to all those I love.

Fatherhood is the greatest privilege and heaviest responsibility; a daily journey of success and failure, overwhelming joy and deepest hurt, duty and indulgence, pride and anxiety, constant learning and endless aspiration. We fathers know this; we seldom discuss it openly in the way mothers might share their trials and tribulations, but we check in on each other, and we watch and learn and emulate.

I have been privileged to grow up surrounded by superb male role models. Men who are strong and gentle, brave and kind, wise and loving. Men like my father, who I always knew valued fatherhood above all else, and his brothers, the eldest of whom was buried this week, surrounded by children, grandchildren and great-grand-children, amid stories of his patience, wit, devotion and kindness.

I had uncles on my mother's side scarred by Changi or being orphaned young, but who grew to impart tenderness through calloused hands.

At kids' weekend sport there is masculinity aplenty without a hint of toxicity, as boys and girls learn to take risks, succeed and fail. There is a nonchalant benevolence in all this, lighting a path for our children.

We risk missing one of the most valuable influences in our community life if we somehow demean, ignore or dismiss this daily devotion of dads. Crabb, maybe, reaches a similar realisation. "Now," she writes, "I don't get mad when female leaders are asked that question. It's a bloody sensible question. Now I just get mad when male leaders aren't asked it. Not asking is actually, in itself, quite a powerful message. It says, 'No one expects you to care about this'."

Yes, not asking about families insults men. Don't blame the dads. Ask them sometime, they might never shut up. Being a dad, like being a mum, is to surrender yourself to a life that supersedes your own — a crushing and enlivening realisation that your own interests will never again be pre-eminent, there is another life for whom you would, in the twinkling of an eye, surrender your own. Life that depends on you, a weight that is somehow uplifting, ever-present and inspiring. Dads know it and live it every day.

From the "Weekend Australian" of 2 Nov., 2019


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


3 November, 2019

The 'Evil Party' Earns Its Name With Shameful Impeachment Attempt

For years, D.C. insiders called Democrats "The Evil Party" and Republicans "The Stupid Party." That seemed an oversimplification but not so much anymore. With this vicious, un-American and psychologically deranged attempt to impeach Donald Trump (or whatever this meretricious plan is—a way forward?) without evidence of the remotest substance, the Democrats reveal themselves to be evil indeed—and without quotation marks.

Most of the 31 "moderate" Democratic congressmen and women from districts won by Trump now seem poised to bite their personal election bullets and vote to support this impeachment gambit, if they haven't already. They better not read Lee Smith's just-published The Plot Against the President —currently number one in books on Amazon—because it will give them nightmares. The book is a primer for things to come in the Durham investigation—the heads that are destined to roll, almost all associated with the Democratic Party, deep state division—and therefore also a primer for the end of their congressional careers if they associate themselves with this bogus impeachment.

But if the book isn't enough to worry them (and I bet it will be), Paul Sperry, writing for Real Clear Investigations, has outed the whistleblower who appears to be as biased a young man as you could find in central casting — someone who worked with both John Brennan (currently heavily suspected as being the Mr.Big behind Spygate and known to despise Trump) and Susan Rice, the Obama administration go-to prevaricator of Benghazi fame. Some objective observer! (The whistleblower act is, unfortunately, a perfect cover for partisan hatchet jobs.)

The question now is how the Republican leadership will react to this particular hatchet job of hatchet jobs. In recent years, rather than "The Stupid Party," they could have been called "The Cowardly Party." Often, they don't back each other, sometimes running for the hills or joining the opposition, when their Democrat peers swallow hard (maybe not even that) to support the likes of Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.

The Republican rank-and-file, now Trump's "deplorables," are entirely different. They are with the president all the way and will stand up and fight for him to the end. Republican politicians ought to pay attention to that or they will find themselves gone at their next primary. Mitt Romney, the most extreme case, is lucky he won't be facing one for several years. He'd likely be gone.

But more important is that the Democrats are clearly misusing impeachment in the worst way, turning it political and distorting the Constitution and the Founders' intentions to such a degree that, should they succeed, our Republic will not recover.

With a presidential election only a year away, it's obvious they don't have much confidence that their potential candidates will win. It's not difficult to see why. Nevertheless, Republican leadership must stand firm against this impeachment at every turn, not just for Trump, but for all of us, for our country. "The Evil Party" must be stopped, then reformed.


Georgia State Lawmaker Proposes Making Gender Transition Surgery for Minors a Felony

Republican State Representative Ginny Ehrhart from Georgia wants to make it a felony for doctors to perform gender transition procedures on minors, including mastectomy, vasectomy, castration, and other forms of genital mutilation, and ban the prescription of puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormone therapy.

State Rep. Ginny Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, said the legislation aims to protect children from having irreversible procedures done when they are young. Current law requires a parent to consent to surgery or for a minor to be prescribed medication.
While the bill is still being drafted, Ehrhart said Georgia medical providers who perform surgeries or administer or prescribe medications that assist minors with gender transition could be charged with a felony. The legislation would not affect doctors working with adults who seek to undergo gender transition.

“We’re talking about children that can’t get a tattoo or smoke a cigar or a cigarette in the state of Georgia but can be castrated and get sterilized,” she said.

While this seems like common sense to most people, Jeff Graham, the executive director of Georgia Equality, an LGBT rights group in the state, blasted the proposed legislation. “This legislation would criminalize decisions that are made carefully within families in consultation with medical professionals and mental health professionals. Supporting children in recognizing their gender identity is not only humane, it saves lives and strengthens families.”

Ehrhart was motivated to draft this bill because of the James Younger case in Texas, and says the final bill may include language that makes parents liable as well as doctors. “There may be some implication for the responsibility of the parent to subject the child to this sort of dangerous medical intervention,” Ehrhart said.

This legislation sounds like a great model for national legislation to protect young children who are being brainwashed by the LGBT lobby into believing themselves to be a different gender. It's time to stop pretending that young children are mature enough or capable of making such life-altering decisions that they are bound to regret later in life and will be unable to reverse.

Further, the LGBT lobby should be willing to recognize when reasonable, compromise legislation is proposed and to support it. There is nothing to gain by pretending that young children can handle such decisions. It's been demonstrated that the vast majority of kids who pretend to be the opposite sex grow out of those behaviors. Forcing gender transition upon them is child abuse.


British poll is truly an election for the ages, a hinge of history

When the Conservative Party chose Winston Churchill to be its leader in 1940 it changed the course of British history, and Western civilisation. It was, as historians say, a “hinge” moment in history. The British were not so much choosing a prime minister as a destiny. In preferring Churchill to pro-appeasement Lord Halifax, the British chose defiance, fight, sovereignty, no deal.

The British national election on December 12, pitting Boris Johnson against Jeremy Corbyn, is equally a hinge moment in history. Of course, the EU is not remotely Nazi Germany and no politician can be equated with Churchill. But this is the most important hinge since World War II, more so than Margaret Thatcher’s win in 1979. Though her achievements were epic, Britain was always going to turn away from Labour’s incompetent socialism.

The choices Britain faces today are more profound and fateful. This is a nation deeply divided, still split nearly 50-50 on whether it should leave the EU.

Modern Western politics, with every grievance amplified a thousand times by social media, subcultural myopia and ghetto-blaster echo chambers, is vitriolic everywhere. But British politicians are now routinely threatened, sometimes assaulted, in ways unimaginable even a decade ago. Politicians live with fireproof letter boxes, bulletproof windows, reinforced front doors, panic buttons. The vitriol comes from extremes of left and right.

A passionately pro-Remain friend in London tells me he nonetheless opposes a second referendum on leaving the EU as he fears violent social disorder.

This election also embodies far wider conflicts in British society and politics.

In June 2016, the British voted 52 per cent to 48 to leave the EU. In June 2017, a general election produced a minority Conservative government led by Theresa May.

For 3½ years, the wretched House of Commons has achieved nothing on Brexit. It could block everything, support nothing.

Now, under Johnson, a new withdrawal agreement has been reached with the EU. Johnson promises if the Conservatives win government they will quickly pass the legislation necessary for his withdrawal agreement and Britain will be out of the EU by January.

Get Brexit Done!, the Tories appealingly proclaim. The British electorate, while the majority for Leave or Remain flickers back and forth, is heartily sick of Brexit paralysis and wants it to end.

But whoever wins the election, Brexit won’t end. An element of May’s negative genius as Britain’s worst prime minister is that she wasted 3½ years working only on the withdrawal agreement. This was the EU’s insistence. Johnson has had to accept this sequencing too. What it means is that Johnson’s agreement only covers in any detail the transition period, which is set to run to the end of next year.

By that time, Britain and the EU are supposed to have negotiated their long-term relationship for the future. This is covered in the non-binding political declaration, which is better under Johnson than it was under May. It envisages a free-trade agreement between Britain and the EU.

Meanwhile, Britain observes almost all EU rules and regulations and cannot implement free-trade agreements with other countries until the transition period is over. That is why Donald Trump, in an unhelpful intervention, observed that Johnson’s agreement might prevent a deal between the US and Britain.

In all of its history, the EU has never finalised a free-trade agreement in one year. An EU free-trade deal has to be ratified by all 28 national EU parliaments and several regional parliaments as well. Assuming any such deal is eventually negotiated, if it can’t be ratified on time then there is provision for a further two-year extension to the end of 2022, during which Britain would still be observing EU rules, paying its divorce bill and having no say in EU deliberations. From Brussels’ point of view, this is ­perfect.

In truth, it’s hard to see the EU ever giving Britain a reasonable free-trade deal. It will want to prevent­ Britain getting any competitive advantage as a nearby economic powerhouse and, after Germany, the strongest European economy. It will insist on Britain remaining aligned to EU rules on environment and labour standards, perhaps on food standards, and even on some tax policy.

The Conservatives will be transformed by this election into a strongly pro-Brexit party. It’s hard to see them swallowing those restricti­ons in a post-EU Britain. Therefore, at some time next year, or two years after that, the whole agonising drama of a no-deal Brexit will come around again.

Of course, if Johnson has a strong majority, he may be able to get the EU to offer sensible terms, or he may be able to implement a no-deal Brexit.

Influential economics columnist and author Liam Halligan told me as soon as May invoked Article 50 and notice of formal withdrawal from the EU, she should have gone straight to negotiating a free-trade agreement and if that were not possible, as Halligan believed it wouldn’t be, then go for a clean Brexit, a no-deal option meaning Britain would trade under World Trade Organisation rules.

That was initially May’s strategy but she buckled almost instantly under EU pressure and negotiated according to the EU’s deadly timetable, agreeing to an exorbitant divorce bill — £39bn — and the painstaking negotia­tion of a withdrawal agreement, with talks on the substance of the future relationship to begin only after that was ratified by both sides.

Johnson’s strategy in this election will be not to talk much about what happens at the end of the transition period. He can reasonably argue that he is taking the EU at face value and not countenance the prospects that free-trade agreement talks might fail. And if they do fail, he can rightly blame Brussels.

The polls vary, but at the moment­ put Johnson’s Tories anywhere from eight to 14 points ahead of Labour. Most analysts think if the Conservatives lead Labour­ by more than 10 per cent, they get a majority. But there is a substantial anti-Tory gerrymander still in the British system, not least through the overrepresent­ation of Scotland in the House of Commons.

Analysts also think the Tories might lose some seats in Scotland, and some London seats that voted Remain in the referendum, as well as some in the west of England where the Liberal Democrats were traditionally strong. Those forecasts might prove wrong if there is a Tory wave.

May failed to pick up pro-Remain­ voting, socially conservative, patriotic, working-class, Labor seats in the Midlands and the north and in Wales. Wales, like England, voted to Leave the EU. Voters in all those seats considered voting Conservative in the last election but for many reasons were not attracted to May, who turned out to be one of the worst campaigners in modern politics.

At first blush it might look unlikely that the Eton and Oxford toff Johnson could snare the so-called Workington man, named after the pro-Leave, working-class, rugby league town in Cumbria­. Workington man is white, male, working-class, likes his rugby league and is middle-aged and not overly burdened with postgraduate qualifications.

If Johnson does win, the rugby theme deserves wider investigation. Johnson nearly got an all-Brexit Rugby World Cup final — with England and Wales — the two British nations that voted to leave both in the semi-finals, unlike­ Remain-voting Scotland and Ireland, who were eliminated at earlier stages. The rugby union-playing Johnson now needs his rugby league cousins in northern England to come to the party.

To think that Johnson cannot relate to people like that is to make the same mistake the commentariat made about Trump, in thinking that a thrice-married, Manhattan property billionaire would be an unrelatable figure for midwest, white, working-class voters, especially male voters. Not only did Trump win them from the Democrats, he got many of them to vote for the first time.

Similarly, Johnson led the Brexit referendum campaign, which had a margin of victory entire­ly made up of people, many of them Workington-man types, who don’t normally bother to vote.

Johnson is offering finality on Brexit, reassertion of British sovereignty and control over social regulation, money, immigration, as well as a tough law-and-order campaign. But he is also offering huge social welfare spending on the National Health Service, schools and police, and is otherwise socially liberal with an extremely racially diverse cabinet. He is generally pro-immigration — and a great admirer of Aust­ralian immigration — but wants Britain to control who comes into its country.

It is silly to describe that as hard-right. It is reasonable to call it populist, though populist surely can no longer be a term of abuse.

Johnson is a big personality who has not lost an election in 20 years. He represents patriotism, sovereignty and decisiveness. But he can only implement his vision for Britain if he wins a clear majority. His only natural coalition partner, the Democratic Unionists of Ulster, with their 10 MPs, reject his withdrawal agreement because it divides Northern Irelan­d from the rest of Britain.

And if Johnson wins very narrowly, then he will probably get his withdrawal agreement over the line, but when the no-deal momen­t of truth rolls around next year, there could still be enough Remainers within Tory parliamentary ranks to make it impossible for Johnson to follow through.

Corbyn, on the other hand, rightly says he is offering Britain the most radical manifesto it has ever seen. It is impossible to overstate the extremism of Corbyn and the claque of barely ex-communists­ around him. Despite coming across as an avuncular version of Albert Steptoe, Corbyn has spent his life associating with terrorists, befriending Hamas and the IRA at its most vicious, giving shelter and support to anti-Semites­, praising the economic model of Venezuela. He is almost a Monty Pythonesque caricature of a sectarian far-left obsessive. But Labour’s machine is formid­able on the ground.

Corbyn is pledging to institute a four-day working week, to nationali­se 10 per cent of all big companies and redistribute this to workers, to renationalise water, energy and transport at prices to be determined by parliament, to raise taxes all round, to abolish private schools. On its first day, his government will buy enough property to house all the homeless.

He has a million other popular commitments which would, taken together, be unaffordable and involve massive government borrowing — higher pay for civil servants, more public holidays, wiping out all student debt.

Labour also wants to abolish immigration controls and allow all EU citizens in Britain to vote in British elections, as well as 16- and 17-year-olds.

Corbyn is a lifelong enemy of NATO and Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent but says for the moment he would keep both. He hates Trump and mostly hates America.

It is true that Corbyn in government could not possibly be as bad as he promises to be. And he would be constrained by the numbers in parliament and by British institutions. But electing a Corbyn government would involve the most radical, reckless and damaging lurch to madness in British history.

It’s unlikely Corbyn will win government in his own right, though not absolutely impossible. But if the Scottish Nationalists and the Liberal Democrats both make big gains at the expense of the Tories, he could head a minority government. In exchange for SNP support, he would agree to a new referendum on Scottish independence.

His position on the EU is that he would negotiate a new deal, almos­t certainly a surrender Brexit involving Brexit in name only, and then take that to a referendum with the Corbyn deal or remaining in the EU altogether as the only options.

If Britain finally stays in the EU it will be the single greatest defeat for British sovereignty, and for British democracy, in that ­nation’s modern history. Britain will be humiliated and the very idea of Britain will be humiliated.

Whoever loses this election, Corbyn or Johnson, will not only be personally discredited. The ideas they are most closely associated with — moderate nationalism for Johnson and unrecon­structed Marxism for Corbyn — will be discredited.

Some analysts believe the break-up of the United Kingdom, with Scotland becoming inde­pend­ent and Northern Ireland joining the Republic of Ireland, is now more likely. I am sceptical of this. Corbyn will give the Scots an independence referendum (though ironically he could not govern without Scottish MPs). The SNP wants a referendum while Britain is part of the EU, in the hope it could stay in the EU.

Johnson would not authorise a new independence vote for years, if ever. Scotland gets huge fiscal subsidy from England. To join the EU it would need to adopt the euro and savagely tame its budget deficit. It would embrace a Greek future.

It shows the folly of Tony Blair’s devolution, which has region­al governments without budget responsibility and leaves England as the only British nation without a regional parliament. Scottish MPs vote on laws in Englan­d but English MPs only pay money to Scotland.

In Northern Ireland, a trans­ient opinion poll in favour of ­reunification with the republic is meaningless. The existential purpose­ of Northern Ireland unionism is to be part of the United Kingdom. And British public services are better funded than Republic of Ireland services.

This is truly an election for the ages, a hinge of history. The stakes are huge, not only for Britain. No recent election, outside Trump in 2016, has meant more to the West.


Taking on Gillette and the Family Court

Bettina Arndt

First, a great new video. I had a long talk to Ilan Srulovicz, the brave CEO of the Egard Watch company, who took on Gillette. Ilan was inspired by the dreadful toxic masculinity message of the notorious Gillette ad to make his own hugely successful video promoting what’s good about men. It was a courageous move to put his company on the line like that but it paid off, attracting overwhelming support for his video. I was so pleased to discover this interesting young man is heavily involved in men’s issues and determined to keep making his voice heard.

Here’s the link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LIg8XKRAbg

Help make sure the Family Law Inquiry exposes the real issues

Last week I reported on my recent trip to meet parliamentarians in Canberra – showing you the wonderful video of Senator Amada Stoker grilling the TEQSA bureaucrats about their dismal handling of campus rape adjudication.

The other issue which was top of my agenda on this trip was the upcoming Family Court Inquiry. I’ve been posting a bunch of news stories on my social media about the strenuous efforts of feminists to try to close down this inquiry. It just shows how desperate they are to hide the truth which hopefully will emerge, particularly during public hearings, about the rampant use of false violence and sexual abuse allegations and related perjury issues, as well as the failure of the Court to enforce contact orders – which are the issues that interest me the most.

I had very helpful meetings with many of the key players involved in the inquiry and have promised to do everything I can to try to make sure good people are making submissions and appearing before the committee.

Via email from Tina: Bettina@bettinaarndt.com.au


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


1 November, 2019

The Business Case for More Diversity -- is crap

The quant-brains at the WSJ would make good epidemiologists -- they make the same simple mistakes. They find that big companies with more women among their top people make more money.  An open-and-shut argument for "diversity", right?  Sadly, no.  All it shows is that the companies with smart leadership  are sensitive to social signals and so heed and act on one of the most pounded social signals of all -- the desirability of diversity.  To simplify, which is it?

* Smart companies hire more women and so make more money because of that

* Smart companies make more money because they are smart and hire more women because it is also smart to be politically correct. Had it been politically correct to hire baboons, they would have hired baboons

Yes.  I know. Some lamebrain is going to say I have compared women to baboons.  To such people I have no reach.  But I hope the point is clear.  The data behind the story below do not enable us to tell which way the causal arrow points so the claim the authors make is moot.  Their data cannot show what they want it to show.

In their better moments, epidemiologists call such studies a "correlational" study, in full awareness of the basic statistical truth that correlation is not causation

We get some inkling of the real direction of the causal arrow from the finding that smaller companies are less likely to hire women. Such companies are presumably less exposed to social scrutiny

The evidence for benefit from diversity that Leftists normally  quote is the much belaboured report from Kinsey & Co which first came out in 2007 and was reissued in 2015. I debunked that report on 10th.  We swim in a sea of Leftist bunkum.

Excerpt only below of the WSJ article

DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE cultures are providing companies with a competitive edge over their peers.

So concluded The Wall Street Journal’s research analysts in their first ranking of corporate sectors, as well as the individual companies in the S&P 500 index, based on how diverse and inclusive they are.

The financial industry overall was the best-performing sector in the study, with banks and insurers dominating the list of the 20 most diverse companies. The communications- services and consumer-staples industries came in a close second and third, while the energy and materials sectors brought up the rear.

Turns out the 20 most diverse companies in the research not only have better operating results on average than the lowest-scoring firms, but their shares generally outperform those of the least-diverse firms, the research shows.

Many of the high-scoring companies in the study say that having a well-rounded workforce has helped them create better products and be more innovative, leading to growth in sales and profit. Analysts agree that diversity can help fuel innovation, which is critical to success in a fastchanging world where technological disruption has become the norm.

Female board representation remains fairly low across the S&P 500.

“Diversity helps create long-term shareholder value,” says Lottie Meggitt, responsible- investment analyst at Newton Investment Management, a unit of Bank of New York Mellon. “Too often we have seen companies fail or make poor decisions where teams are populated with individuals who all think the same, or who are unwilling or unable to challenge the status quo.”

To create the ranking, The Wall Street Journal’s environment, social and governance research analysts gave each company in the S&P 500 a diversity and inclusion score from 0 to 100. The scores were based on 10 metrics, including the age and ethnicity of the company’s workforce, the percentage of women in leadership roles, whether the firm has diversity and inclusion programs in place for employees, and the makeup of the board. (See the full methodology at wsj.com/leadershipreport.)

Among the findings:

Progressive Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. took the top two spots in the ranking, with scores of 85 and 80, respectively. The financial industry overall had an average score of 50.4 followed closely by the communications- services industry at 49.5 and the consumer- staples sector at 48.8. Companies in the energy and materials sectors earned average scores of 40.

Following a string of gender- and racialdiscrimination lawsuits over the past few decades, banking firms in recent years have worked to narrow pay disparities and recruit a more diverse workforce. Other companies in the financial sector have had to make changes to attract and retain millennial workers and to reach an increasingly diverse U.S. customer base.

“Consumers have many different options and higher expectations for products and services that reflect and meet their unique needs,” says Lori Niederst, chief human-resources officer at Progressive. “This makes constant and concerted attention to diversity and inclusion a business imperative.”

Larger companies tended to score better than smaller companies in the research, probably because bigger firms have more resources to devote to D&I programs, the study found. (The average market cap of the top 20 performers is $127 billion, compared with $17 billion for the bottom performers). But some say it could be that smaller companies haven’t faced the same kind of pressure larger companies have to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces.


Why Is YouTube Protecting the Southern Poverty Law Center?

Last week, Reason's libertarian commentator John Stossel tweeted about YouTube restricting his videos, one on socialism and one on the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a far-left smear group that uses its history suing the Ku Klux Klan to "mortally embarrass" conservative and Christian organizations. YouTube has also restricted many videos from Prager University, including one exposing the SPLC. These videos are off-limits to children and others who use YouTube in restricted mode.

"YouTube has restricted my video that points out how the Southern Poverty Law Center has become a money grabbing slander machine," Stossel tweeted. "Could it be restricted because YouTube uses the Center’s guideline to police its content?! Seems like a conflict of interest."

PJ Media reached out to Google, YouTube's parent company, for comment, but the company did not respond by press time.

Founded in 1971, the SPLC represented death row inmates and free speech cases but gained a national reputation for bankrupting KKK groups in the 1980s. After defeating the KKK, the SPLC expanded its strategy to the more nebulous "hate groups." The SPLC's list of "hate groups" — which still includes some allegedly KKK-affiliated organizations — has grown nearly every year, and the organization breathlessly reports a "rising tide of hate," scaring donors and pressuring Big Tech to blacklist its political opponents. Amazon has kicked "hate groups" off of its charity donation service. Eventbrite has blacklisted America's premier national security grassroots organization, ACT for America.

The "hate group" accusation inspired a gunman to target the conservative Christian Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Convicted of terrorism, he confessed that he intended to shoot everyone in the building and place a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich by their heads.

In March, the SPLC lost its co-founder, president, legal director, and a major board member amid a sexual harassment and racial discrimination scandal. Amid this scandal, a former staffer came clean about being part of a "con," and revealed the "hate group" accusations to be a cynical fundraising scheme — as well as a tool to silence political opponents.

After the SPLC smeared a Muslim reformer as an "anti-Islamic extremist," the organization settled his defamation lawsuit by paying $3.375 million. The SPLC faces many lawsuits, and one of them has reached the discovery process, threatening to unearth the smear factory's secrets.

Despite all this, Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified that YouTube considers the SPLC a "trusted flagger." A full 90 percent of political donations from employees of Alphabet (Google's parent company) have gone to Democrats since 2004. In the 2018 cycle, Alphabet employees contributed 96 percent to Democrats.

In a Lincoln Network survey published early this year, a self-described liberal at an unidentified Big-Tech company warned that "there are no clear boundaries set by the organization to prevent ideological bias. Third parties that used to be respected for setting such boundaries, like the EFF [Electronic Frontier Foundation], are no longer respected, while partisan organizations like ADL [Anti-Defamation League] and SPLC (who I believe push a political agenda) are considered by most employees to be objective."

Perhaps Google, Amazon, and Eventbrite kowtow to the SPLC's blacklisting because the left-leaning Silicon Valley agrees with the SPLC's demonizing of conservatives. It is quite plausible that YouTube is protecting the smear group in order to abet its attacks on conservatives.

"It doesn’t surprise us that YouTube, which uses the SPLC to police videos, would restrict a video that is critical of the SPLC," Michael Ricci, a spokesman for John Stossel, told PJ Media. Ricci noted that the SPLC video has been restricted from close to the time it was posted in January 2018. The video has also been demonetized — YouTube does not allow Reason to run ads on the video.

Stossel drew attention to the restriction of this video after getting a recent notice that YouTube was restricting an old video on socialism.

Stossel tweeted, "[I] hate that socialists get YouTube to restrict my videos. Got this email: 'Your video Socialism Fails Every Time was flagged to us for review. Upon review, we’ve determined that it may not be suitable for all viewers...'"

If socialists flagged Stossel's video on socialism, did a certain "trusted flagger" complain about his video exposing the SPLC?

In the video, the Reason commentator interviewed notorious "hate group" leaders like the Ruth Institute's Jennifer Roback Morse. The SPLC has accused the Ruth Institute of being an "anti-LGBT hate group" because it quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church in opposing same-sex marriage. The Ruth Institute lost its credit-card processing company thanks to the SPLC's accusation.

Yet Morse told Stossel, "I like gay people. I have no problem with gay people." What a hater!

"Crying hate brings in lots of money," Stossel says in the restricted video. He noted that the SPLC almost exclusively attacks conservative "hate," refusing to condemn antifa, "the hate group that beats up people on the right."

Stossel's experience should sound familiar. Prager University has sued Google/YouTube for discrimination against conservative speakers. YouTube has restricted dozens of PragerU videos, claiming the educational messages are unfit for children.

"Ever since we filed our lawsuit against them, YouTube has continued to increase the amount of PragerU videos that they restrict. It's reached the point of absurdity as there are now over 200 of our videos restricted, including five videos on the 10 Commandments. We're fighters at PragerU and we will never stop fighting for free speech," Craig Strazzeri, chief marketing officer for PragerU, told PJ Media on Tuesday.

Like Stossel, PragerU found its video exposing the SPLC restricted on YouTube.

"Shutting down people you don’t agree with is about as un-American as you can get," Philanthropy Roundtable Vice President Karl Zinsmeister says in the video. "Rigorous debate, honest discussion, and open exchange of ideas — that’s the American way."

His video exposes the SPLC's strategy of silencing debate by demonizing those who dissent from its liberal worldview. "The SPLC’s hate list has become a weapon for taking individuals and groups they disagree with and tarring them with ugly associations," he says.

Zinsmeister cited former SPLC spokesman Mark Potok, who said, "I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, completely destroy them."

"Instead of reducing hate and violence, the SPLC’s name-calling directly incites it," the Philanthropy Roundtable VP adds. "In March 2017, Charles Murray was trying to discuss his acclaimed book Coming Apart at Middlebury College … enflamed by the SPLC’s labeling of him as a racist." He also references the FRC shooting: "While promoting itself as a monitor of 'hate groups,' the SPLC has become a fomenter of hate."

It seems more than a little ironic that YouTube would restrict a video advocating for free speech. Perhaps Google is adopting the very SPLC tactics Zinsmeister rightly condemns. PragerU's lawsuits aim to prove just that.


The Gun Grabbers Mislead Us

Americans who call for stricter and stricter gun control know that getting rid of rifles will do little or nothing for the nation’s homicide rate. Their calls for more restrictive gun laws are part of a larger strategy to outlaw gun ownership altogether.

Gun control did not become politically acceptable until the Gun Control Act of 1968 signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The law’s primary focus was to regulate commerce in firearms by prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers, and importers.

Today’s gun control advocates have gone much further, calling for an outright ban of what they call assault rifles such as the AR-15.

By the way, AR stands for ArmaLite Rifle, which is manufactured by Colt Manufacturing Co. As for being a military assault weapon, our soldiers would be laughed off the battlefield carrying AR-15s.

Let’s look at some FBI statistics on homicide and then you can decide how many homicides would be prevented by a ban on rifles. The FBI lists murder victims by weapon from 2014 to 2018 in its 2018 report on crime in the United States. It turns out that slightly over 2% (297) out of a total of 14,123 homicides were committed with rifles.

A total of 1,515 or 11% of homicides were committed by knives. Four hundred and forty-three people were murdered with a hammer, club, or some other bludgeoning instrument. Six hundred and seventy-two people were murdered by a hand, foot, or fist. Handguns accounted for the most murders—6,603.

What these statistics point out clearly is that the so-called assault weapons ban and mandatory buy-back plan, which Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke and others call for, will do little or nothing to bring down homicides. More homicides could be prevented by advocating knife control, hammer control, and feet and fist control.

Gun controllers’ belief that “easy” gun availability is our problem ignores U.S. history. Guns were far more readily available yesteryear. One could mail order a gun from Sears or walk into a hardware store or a pawnshop to make a purchase.

With truly easy gun availability throughout our history, there was nowhere near the mayhem and mass murder that we see today. Here’s my question to all those who want restrictions placed on gun sales: Were the firearms of yesteryear better behaved than those same firearms are today?

That’s really a silly question; guns are inanimate objects and have no capacity to act. Our problem is a widespread decline in moral values that has nothing to do with guns. That decline includes disrespect for those in authority, disrespect for oneself, little accountability for anti-social behavior, and a scuttling of religious teachings that reinforce moral values.

Let’s examine some elements of this decline.

If any American who passed away before 1960 were to return to today’s America, they would not believe the kind of personal behavior acceptable today. They wouldn’t believe that youngsters could get away with cursing at and assaulting teachers. They wouldn’t believe that cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, and Baltimore hire hundreds of school police officers and that in some schools, students must go through metal detectors.

During my own primary and secondary schooling in Philadelphia, from 1942 to 1954, the only time we saw a policeman in school was during an assembly period where we had to listen to a boring lecture from Officer Friendly on safety. Our ancestors also wouldn’t believe that we’re now debating whether teachers should be armed.

Americans who call for stricter and stricter gun control know that getting rid of rifles will do little or nothing for the nation’s homicide rate. Their calls for more restrictive gun laws are part of a larger strategy to outlaw gun ownership altogether. You have to wonder what these people have in store for us when they’ve eliminated our means to defend ourselves.

Venezuela dictator Nicolas Maduro banned private gun ownership in 2012. The result is that Venezuelans had no way to protect themselves from criminals and government troops who preyed upon them.

After Fidel Castro’s demand for gun confiscation, he said, “Armas para que?” (“Guns, for what?”) Cubans later found out.


Australia: Assisted dying outrages religions

Remarkable unanimity

Islamic and Jewish leaders have joined the churches in slamming any rollout of voluntary euthanasia in Queensland, the latest state t0 weigh the right to die. In a joint statement, 16 religious leaders headed by president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge, former primate of Australia and Anglican archbishop of Brisbane Phillip Aspinall, president of the Islamic Council of Queensland Habib Jamal and Rabbi Levi Jaffe of the Brisbane Hebrew Congregation warned that voluntary assisted dying was "not dying well".

"We believe that the Queensland government should main-tain the current laws and improve palliative care for a flourishing Queensland based on human freedom, human dignity and the common good," the statement said.

A modified version of the voluntary assisted dying (VAD) law that came into effect in Victoria in June passed the lower house of West Australian parliament last month, but faces a sterner test in the Legislative Council, possibly by the end of the year.

Queensland is at an earlier stage of assessing VAD but its unicameral state parliament means the process will be smoother if an all-party committee endorses the need for legislation and the state Labor government grasps the nettle.

This happened with abortion law reform in 2017, to the dismay of
the churches. Their effort to block euthanasia shows signs of being more concerted and co-ordinated. The joint statement argued that VAD offered a misleading choice: "You can choose to die horribly or you can take your own life."

But Everald Compton, of the Dying with Dignity organisation and an elder of the Uniting and Presbyterian churches, rejected the religious leaders' position. "I fundamentally disagree with the unreasonable position taken by my church and all the other churches -- which is based on creating fear and misrepresentating what voluntary assisted dying is all about," he said

The religious leaders said the provision of high-quality palliative care was paramount, so that death did not need to be terrible or feared. "High-quality palliative care is not merely a third option; it is best practice," they argued. "Queenslanders do not yet have universal access such as specialist palliative care that addresses the physical, psycho-social and spiritual needs of people."

The statement said VAD would undermine efforts to curb suicide in a state with the nation's second highest rate of self-inflicted death.

Other signatories were: moderator of the Uniting Church Queensland Synod Reverend David Baker, Reverend Peter Barson of. the Presbyterian Church, Conference president of the Churches of Christ Geoff Charles, moderator of the Queensland Congregational Fellowship Dr Joe Goodall, state chairman of the International Network of Churches Pastor Gary Hourigan, Elder Carl Maurer of The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints, Pastor Carl Mutzelburg of Acts 2 Alliance, acting general superintendent of Queensland Baptists Reverend Stewart Pieper, Reverend Rex Rigby of the Wesleyan Methodist Church South Queensland, Bishop Paul Smith of the Lutheran Church, district and state ministries director of Christian Churches Queensland-NT Pastor Gary Swenson.

From "The Australian" of 28/10/2019


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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(Isaiah 62:1)

A 19th century Democrat political poster below:

Leftist tolerance


JFK knew Leftist dogmatism

-- Geert Wilders

The most beautiful woman in the world? I think she was. Yes: It's Agnetha Fältskog

A beautiful baby is king -- with blue eyes, blond hair and white skin. How incorrect can you get?

Kristina Pimenova, said to be the most beautiful girl in the world. Note blue eyes and blonde hair

Enough said

Islamic terrorism isn’t a perversion of Islam. It’s the implementation of Islam. It is not a religion of the persecuted, but the persecutors. Its theology is violent supremacism.

There really is an actress named Donna Air. She seems a pleasant enough woman, though

What feminism has wrought:

There's actually some wisdom there. The dreamy lady says she is holding out for someone who meets her standards. The other lady reasonably replies "There's nobody there". Standards can be unrealistically high and feminists have laboured mightily to make them so

Some bright spark occasionally decides that Leftism is feminine and conservatism is masculine. That totally misses the point. If true, how come the vote in American presidential elections usually shows something close to a 50/50 split between men and women? And in the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won 53 percent of white women, despite allegations focused on his past treatment of some women.

Political correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners

Political Correctness is as big a threat to free speech as Communism and Fascism. All 3 were/are socialist.

The problem with minorities is not race but culture. For instance, many American black males fit in well with the majority culture. They go to college, work legally for their living, marry and support the mother of their children, go to church, abstain from crime and are considerate towards others. Who could reasonably object to such people? It is people who subscribe to minority cultures -- black, Latino or Muslim -- who can give rise to concern. If antisocial attitudes and/or behaviour become pervasive among a group, however, policies may reasonably devised to deal with that group as a whole

Black lives DON'T matter -- to other blacks. The leading cause of death among young black males is attack by other young black males

Psychological defence mechanisms such as projection play a large part in Leftist thinking and discourse. So their frantic search for evil in the words and deeds of others is easily understandable. The evil is in themselves. Leftist motivations are fundamentally Fascist. They want to "fundamentally transform" the lives of their fellow citizens, which is as authoritarian as you can get. We saw where it led in Russia and China. The "compassion" that Leftists parade is just a cloak for their ghastly real motivations

Occasionally I put up on this blog complaints about the privileged position of homosexuals in today's world. I look forward to the day when the pendulum swings back and homosexuals are treated as equals before the law. To a simple Leftist mind, that makes me "homophobic", even though I have no fear of any kind of homosexuals.

But I thought it might be useful for me to point out a few things. For a start, I am not unwise enough to say that some of my best friends are homosexual. None are, in fact. Though there are two homosexuals in my normal social circle whom I get on well with and whom I think well of.

Of possible relevance: My late sister was a homosexual; I loved Liberace's sense of humour and I thought that Robert Helpmann was marvellous as Don Quixote in the Nureyev ballet of that name.

Bible references on homosexuality: Jude 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Leviticus 18:32; Leviticus 20:13

I record on this blog many examples of negligent, inefficient and reprehensible behaviour on the part of British police. After 13 years of Labour party rule they have become highly politicized, with values that reflect the demands made on them by the political Left rather than than what the community expects of them. They have become lazy and cowardly and avoid dealing with real crime wherever possible -- preferring instead to harass normal decent people for minor infractions -- particularly offences against political correctness. They are an excellent example of the destruction that can be brought about by Leftist meddling.

I also record on this blog much social worker evil -- particularly British social worker evil. The evil is neither negligent nor random. It follows exactly the pattern you would expect from the Marxist-oriented indoctrination they get in social work school -- where the middle class is seen as the enemy and the underclass is seen as virtuous. So social workers are lightning fast to take children away from normal decent parents on the basis of of minor or imaginary infractions while turning a blind eye to gross child abuse by the underclass

Racial differences in temperament: Chinese are more passive even as little babies

The genetics of crime: I have been pointing out for some time the evidence that there is a substantial genetic element in criminality. Some people are born bad. See here, here, here, here (DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12581) and here, for instance"

Gender is a property of words, not of people. Using it otherwise is just another politically correct distortion -- though not as pernicious as calling racial discrimination "Affirmative action"

Postmodernism is fundamentally frivolous. Postmodernists routinely condemn racism and intolerance as wrong but then say that there is no such thing as right and wrong. They are clearly not being serious. Either they do not really believe in moral nihilism or they believe that racism cannot be condemned!

Postmodernism is in fact just a tantrum. Post-Soviet reality in particular suits Leftists so badly that their response is to deny that reality exists. That they can be so dishonest, however, simply shows how psychopathic they are.

So why do Leftists say "There is no such thing as right and wrong" when backed into a rhetorical corner? They say it because that is the predominant conclusion of analytic philosophers. And, as Keynes said: "Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”

Children are the best thing in life. See also here.

Juergen Habermas, a veteran leftist German philosopher stunned his admirers not long ago by proclaiming, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [than Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

Consider two "jokes" below:

Q. "Why are Leftists always standing up for blacks and homosexuals?

A. Because for all three groups their only God is their penis"

Pretty offensive, right? So consider this one:

Q. "Why are evangelical Christians like the Taliban?

A. They are both religious fundamentalists"

The latter "joke" is not a joke at all, of course. It is a comparison routinely touted by Leftists. Both "jokes" are greatly offensive and unfair to the parties targeted but one gets a pass without question while the other would bring great wrath on the head of anyone uttering it. Why? Because political correctness is in fact just Leftist bigotry. Bigotry is unfairly favouring one or more groups of people over others -- usually justified as "truth".

One of my more amusing memories is from the time when the Soviet Union still existed and I was teaching sociology in a major Australian university. On one memorable occasion, we had a representative of the Soviet Womens' organization visit us -- a stout and heavily made-up lady of mature years. When she was ushered into our conference room, she was greeted with something like adulation by the local Marxists. In question time after her talk, however, someone asked her how homosexuals were treated in the USSR. She replied: "We don't have any. That was before the revolution". The consternation and confusion that produced among my Leftist colleagues was hilarious to behold and still lives vividly in my memory. The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. In Sept. 2007 President Ahmadinejad told Columbia university that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

It is widely agreed (with mainly Lesbians dissenting) that boys need their fathers. What needs much wider recognition is that girls need their fathers too. The relationship between a "Daddy's girl" and her father is perhaps the most beautiful human relationship there is. It can help give the girl concerned inner strength for the rest of her life.

A modern feminist complains: "We are so far from “having it all” that “we barely even have a slice of the pie, which we probably baked ourselves while sobbing into the pastry at 4am”."

Patriotism does NOT in general go with hostilty towards others. See e.g. here and here and even here ("Ethnocentrism and Xenophobia: A Cross-Cultural Study" by anthropologist Elizabeth Cashdan. In Current Anthropology Vol. 42, No. 5, December 2001).

The love of bureaucracy is very Leftist and hence "correct". Who said this? "Account must be taken of every single article, every pound of grain, because what socialism implies above all is keeping account of everything". It was V.I. Lenin

"An objection I hear frequently is: ‘Why should we tolerate intolerance?’ The assumption is that tolerating views that you don’t agree with is like a gift, an act of kindness. It suggests we’re doing people a favour by tolerating their view. My argument is that tolerance is vital to us, to you and I, because it’s actually the presupposition of all our freedoms. You cannot be free in any meaningful sense unless there is a recognition that we are free to act on our beliefs, we’re free to think what we want and express ourselves freely. Unless we have that freedom, all those other freedoms that we have on paper mean nothing" -- SOURCE


Although it is a popular traditional chant, the "Kol Nidre" should be abandoned by modern Jewish congregations. It was totally understandable where it originated in the Middle Ages but is morally obnoxious in the modern world and vivid "proof" of all sorts of antisemitic stereotypes

What the Bible says about homosexuality:

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; It is abomination" -- Lev. 18:22

In his great diatribe against the pagan Romans, the apostle Paul included homosexuality among their sins:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" -- Romans 1:26,27,32.

So churches that condone homosexuality are clearly post-Christian

Although I am an atheist, I have great respect for the wisdom of ancient times as collected in the Bible. And its condemnation of homosexuality makes considerable sense to me. In an era when family values are under constant assault, such a return to the basics could be helpful. Nonetheless, I approve of St. Paul's advice in the second chapter of his epistle to the Romans that it is for God to punish them, not us. In secular terms, homosexuality between consenting adults in private should not be penalized but nor should it be promoted or praised. In Christian terms, "Gay pride" is of the Devil

The homosexuals of Gibeah (Judges 19 & 20) set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals. Are we seeing a related process in the woes presently being experienced by the amoral Western world? Note that there was one Western country that was not affected by the global financial crisis and subsequently had no debt problems: Australia. In September 2012 the Australian federal parliament considered a bill to implement homosexual marriage. It was rejected by a large majority -- including members from both major political parties

Religion is deeply human. The recent discoveries at Gobekli Tepe suggest that it was religion not farming that gave birth to civilization. Early civilizations were at any rate all very religious. Atheism is mainly a very modern development and is even now very much a minority opinion

"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

I think it's not unreasonable to see Islam as the religion of the Devil. Any religion that loves death or leads to parents rejoicing when their children blow themselves up is surely of the Devil -- however you conceive of the Devil. Whether he is a man in a red suit with horns and a tail, a fallen spirit being, or simply the evil side of human nature hardly matters. In all cases Islam is clearly anti-life and only the Devil or his disciples could rejoice in that.

And there surely could be few lower forms of human behaviour than to give abuse and harm in return for help. The compassionate practices of countries with Christian traditions have led many such countries to give a new home to Muslim refugees and seekers after a better life. It's basic humanity that such kindness should attract gratitude and appreciation. But do Muslims appreciate it? They most commonly show contempt for the countries and societies concerned. That's another sign of Satanic influence.

And how's this for demonic thinking?: "Asian father whose daughter drowned in Dubai sea 'stopped lifeguards from saving her because he didn't want her touched and dishonoured by strange men'

And where Muslims tell us that they love death, the great Christian celebration is of the birth of a baby -- the monogenes theos (only begotten god) as John 1:18 describes it in the original Greek -- Christmas!

No wonder so many Muslims are hostile and angry. They have little companionship from women and not even any companionship from dogs -- which are emotionally important in most other cultures. Dogs are "unclean"

Some advice from Martin Luther: Esto peccator et pecca fortiter, sed fortius fide et gaude in christo qui victor est peccati, mortis et mundi: peccandum est quam diu sic sumus. Vita haec non est habitatio justitiae

On all my blogs, I express my view of what is important primarily by the readings that I select for posting. I do however on occasions add personal comments in italicized form at the beginning of an article.

I am rather pleased to report that I am a lifelong conservative. Out of intellectual curiosity, I did in my youth join organizations from right across the political spectrum so I am certainly not closed-minded and am very familiar with the full spectrum of political thinking. Nonetheless, I did not have to undergo the lurch from Left to Right that so many people undergo. At age 13 I used my pocket-money to subscribe to the "Reader's Digest" -- the main conservative organ available in small town Australia of the 1950s. I have learnt much since but am pleased and amused to note that history has since confirmed most of what I thought at that early age.

I imagine that the the RD is still sending mailouts to my 1950s address!

Germaine Greer is a stupid old Harpy who is notable only for the depth and extent of her hatreds

Even Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly unimpressed by Africans

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